Breaking the chains of poverty


Breaking the Chains of Poverty is a Pennsylvania-registered pre-apprenticeship program designed to help you build the skills necessary to obtain a family-sustaining career in the local building and construction trade unions, manufacturing industry, and emerging energy sector.

As a registered pre-apprenticeship completion of the program with a letter of recommendation does four things: It guarantees entry into the LIUNA Western District Council, it guarantees an interview with the Steamfitter Local #449, it guarantees an interview with the IBEW Local #5 provided you pass their exam in the top 20%, and it guarantees an interview with the Sheet metal workers union local #12.

Cutting-Edge, Industry-Certified Pre-Apprenticeship Program


Skills of Construction
Emerging Energy Trades


High Demand
Industry Driven
Constantly Enhanced
Employer Approved

Financial Literacy – Money management and wealth generation

Conflict Resolution –Techniques to resolve conflict in the workplace

Workplace Ethics – Moral code that guides the behavior of employees in the workspace.

Human and workers’ rights – Your rights as a human being and your rights in the workplace.

Trade policy – Teaches you how international trade policies affect your life and work.

Building Trades Math – Math course that teaches the necessary math to pass the building and construction trades unions and manufacturing entrance exams.

Environmental Literacy (Roots of Success) (international certification) – That explains environmental issues and prepares you for green jobs in the unions.

Computer Literacy – Teaches the basics of Microsoft suite, email, and managing digital footprint.

HAZWOPER (National Certification) – Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response

OSHA 30hr Construction (National Certification) – Health and safety course for the construction site. This certification is necessary for most construction sites.

Tool, Instruments, and Measures – During a site visit with the Carpenters Union, you will complete a framing project and learn what tools and measurements the carpenters use.

Mold Remediation (National Certification) – Remediate mold in homes and commercial buildings.

Energy Auditing – Calculation of the total amount of energy a building uses.

Green Chemistry – Best practices for using green chemicals and green building materials.

PennDOT Flagger (State certification) – Certifies you to direct traffic and flag on construction sites.

First Aid/CPR – Teaches you how to administer first aid to yourself and others in an emergency.

Site Visits – You will visit 7 Joint Apprenticeship Training Sites and manufacturing sites, and have presentations from potential employers.

The program is 8 weeks, 40 hours a week, Monday – Friday, 7:45 a.m. – 4 p.m. Training is held at the United Steel Workers building located at 60 Boulevard of the Allies. During the 8 weeks, you are allowed one (1) late arrival during a non-certification week, and it must be less than 59 minutes. 

If you are more than sixty minutes late you will be removed from class.

You are not allowed to miss a class during the entire 8 weeks. As long as you meet the program expectations and rules, you will receive a $30/day stipend after completing each week. ($150/week)

If you are removed from the program before completing the week, you will lose your stipend for the week.

Program Entrance Requirements

• Must be at least 18 years of age.
• High school diploma or GED.
• Must be drug free.
• Valid driver’s license preferred.
• Must be or become a registered voter.
• 10th grade competency based on TABE Level A testing.
• Must successfully complete and pass a panel interview.

If You Think This Program Is Right for You, Please Submit Your Information.

Not Sure if You Want To Apply? Learn More:

Request more information about the Breaking the Chains of Poverty Career Training (BTCP) program.
To register for the program call 412-562-2432.

Partnerships for success

The United Steelworkers and other partners support the work that we do. We work closely with with other unions as well as employers, organizations, governments, and companies.