The GBPCA joined forces with Local 12 and recently donated a total of $9,000 to three vocational schools in the region: Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Boston, Quincy High School’s Career Vocational & Technical Education Program, and Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, located in Haverhill.
“It’s important to make the programs strong so that the students get a top-notch education,” says Andrew DeAngelo, the PCA’s executive director, explaining one of the motivating factors for the gifts. By connecting with the programs, it also helps plumbing students bridge the gap between graduating from a tech school and joining the workforce in the field. “It helps make sure the students know about the opportunities in the local and are familiar with our contractors,” DeAngelo adds.
It is also a great way for Local 12 to attract young people interested in the trade. In addition to the donations, the organizations have ongoing relationships with the vocational programs. Both the union and the PCA regularly conduct sessions for juniors and seniors, letting them know resources that are available, what they have to do to apply to the local, and other info.
The donations are intended for plumbing instructors to purchase materials, equipment, and other items that they need for their shops and programs, but that the school district may not have included in their budgets.
Separately, the PCA made an additional donation of $1,400 worth of power tools to Madison Park. Among the items were Milwaukee impact drivers and batteries, an electric air compressor, and a Dewalt brad nailer.
“The executive board of the PCA wanted to make a big impact at Madison Park,” says DeAngelo. The executive director got in touch with the school’s plumbing instructor to find out what the program could use. “We took his direction and ran with it.”