Apprenticeship Programs As An Alternative To College

Published: April 4, 2014

The cost of college tuition rose at an alarming rate over the past three decades causing students, organizations and politicians to speak out against sky-rocketing rates while offering plans to stem the rise in higher education costs.

Cost regulation and debt forgiveness are not all that should be discussed.  In a Pittsburgh suburb, leaders from SMART Local 12, the ironworkers, carpenters, bricklayers, and cement masons fielded questions from parents and students.  With job opportunities in the trades growing in the region, guidance counselors from Bethel Park, PA looked to provide information about traditional college alternatives.

Nationally, the Labor Department predicts more than 218,000 carpentry jobs by 2022, a 24 percent increase above the current estimate of 901,000 jobs. The job projections note the up-and-down nature of the profession, because work peaks and dips with new construction and lulls in the economy.

Major infrastructure projects in the area, and around the country, will all be built by union members in the upcoming years.