Pittsburgh Technical Institute
will hold the grand opening of its new Energy Technology Center
next Thursday, officially cutting the ribbon on the home of the region’s first program geared toward training students for electronics jobs in the energy field.
The center occupies more than 15,000 square feet on PTI’s North Fayette Campus and will house PTI’s programs in HVAC technology, Welding and Oil & Gas Electronics. PTI rolled out the latter two programs earlier this year after working with a cadre of energy companies to assess their positional needs in the industry.
Though the oil and gas electronics program began its first classes earlier this month, George Pry, PTI’s executive vice president, estimates that it will ultimately churn out between 80 and 100 graduates per year, none of whom will have trouble finding jobs.
“There’s a need,” Pry says. “They’ll take as many as they can get out there. It’s where we are today, the same as where we were with the steel industry 80 or 100 years ago. There are very well-paying, middle-class jobs available that we need to fill with our graduates. When we see a need, we go for it.”
Felix Cardella, of TKA Architects
, designed the $3.5 million center and Homestead-based Franjo Construction
served as the general contractor. It contains nearly $1 million worth of industry-specific equipment, about $750,000 of which was donated by corporate partners.
“It’s filling a very specific need for energy companies,” says Linda Allan, PTI’s director of public relations. “With the exponential growth of the Marcellus Shale exploration and development, all of the supporting industries are benefitting from what’s going on.”
Writer: Matthew Wein
Sources: George Pry, Linda Allan