Learn for free

It’s no news that manufacturers fret that there aren’t enough qualified workers to staff their production lines and job shops. The situation is bad enough that some companies are turning away business; not a good practice in a region that needs to grow.

What might not be so well-known is that there is a program that provides free machine training to qualified high school graduates.

Manufacturing 2000 offers men and women with a high school diploma or the equivalent the opportunity to trade in low-paying and seasonal jobs for lifelong careers — with good pay, continuing education and benefits — in manufacturing.

“Clearly, we all win if Pittsburgh companies can find the skilled workers they need,” says Barry Maciak of Duquesne University’s Institute for Economic Transformation, one of the founding organizations of Manufacturing 2000.

Classes are taught weekday evenings over four months.

The next training session begins June 21 at Steel Center AVTS. Other sessions are scheduled to start Aug. 2, Forbes Road East; Aug. 23, Parkway West AVTS; and Steel Center AVTS, Nov. 8.

Area manufacturers, high school guidance counselors and civic and community organizations who want more information should call (800) 822-9337.