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Upper Bucks County Technical School, trade group forge alliance to bridge workforce development gap


Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS) and Associated Builders and Contractors of Eastern Pennsylvania (ABC) have formed a strategic partnership to foster workforce development and address the critical skills gap in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Effective July 1, the collaboration marks a significant milestone in providing ABC member company employees access to comprehensive paid workforce craft training programs and apprenticeships that empower them with the skills necessary for successful careers in the construction industry. In addition, UBCTS will provide a program tailored to unemployed adults seeking a pathway to employment.

The ABC Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter represents more than 14,000 merit construction employees who work for over 500 member companies.

Adult programming will be provided during evening hours. Upper Bucks County Technical School will continue to provide its career training programs during the day, serving approximately 950 students in grades nine through 12 from the Palisades, Pennridge, and Quakertown Community school districts. UBCTS offers training in 22 program areas representing eight industries.

The partnership solidifies the commitment of UBCTS and ABC Eastern Pennsylvania to expand craft training and apprenticeship programs in electrical, plumbing, sheet metal, and carpentry.

Under the partnership, ABC Eastern Pennsylvania will move its training location for member companies from suburban Philadelphia to UBCTS and conduct its Registered Apprenticeship classes on site, providing students with enhanced training opportunities. In addition, The Alpha Program, set to commence in 2023, will provide a comprehensive six- to eight-week orientation program for high school students and recent graduates to explore career and educational opportunities in architecture, construction and engineering. The program will be available during after school hours and the summer months.

The agreement also paves the way for collaboration and investment in enhancing UBCTS lab spaces and facilities. ABC Eastern Pennsylvania plans to provide material donations and tools from its Harleysville facility, alongside investments from its operating funds, to improve the labs and renovate the spaces. The partnership aims to create a supportive environment for students and foster a vibrant hub for workforce development at UBCTS.

“We believe this partnership with ABC Eastern Pennsylvania is a game changer for both our institutions, said Michael Herrera, executive director of UBCTS. “We can revolutionize workforce development and provide our students with unparalleled opportunities for growth and success. We are excited to see this collaboration’s positive impact on our campus and the local community.”

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