Steamfitters

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Since the late 1800s, steamfitters have built, installed and maintained piping systems, everywhere from power plants to residential homes.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

When the steel mills closed, Mary Kay Babyak, the executive director of an education nonprofit, said she thinks parents didn’t see a future for the their children in blue-collar trade jobs.

“A number of these folks have a history of seeing their parents, their grandparents, their siblings losing positions and opportunities and great jobs,” she said. “So the idea was college will guarantee success. Which it doesn’t.”

Scott Lewis / Flickr

Sixteen construction trade unions in western Pennsylvania are looking for a few thousand new members.