Apprenticeship – The Engineering Career Connections Program

The Engineering Career Connections Program introduces area high school students in the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program to the profession of engineering. The students visit with engineers at their places of employment to learn what engineers do on a day-to-day basis. These visits are prearranged with employers and usually last about 4 hours.

The Program is a joint effort of the Allegheny Intermediate United Gifted and Talented Education Program and the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers. GATE personnel identify the students who will participate in the program, while the Pittsburgh Chapter Apprenticeship Committee arranges visits with engineers.

The Apprenticeship Committee attempts to select different types of engineering organizations to be visited. These may include environmental, governmental, biotechnical, or manufacturing, just to name a few. The diversity of roles for the engineer in each of these environments gives the students a broad perspective of the engineering profession.

Prospective hosts are contacted by members of the Apprenticeship Committee either by personal phone call or letter. For those organizations expressing an interest in the program, a complete explanation is provided. Hosts are asked to plan and coordinate the students’ visit at the site. In most cases, students arrange for their own transportation. However, if the visit requires a lengthy trip the Apprenticeship Committee may arrange transportation. Hosts can expect a maximum of 8 students and possibly one adult to visit for the day. These visits usually last about 4 hours, but the length of the visit is determined by the host.

The small number of students allows for personal interaction. Students are encouraged to ask questions. Participants are encouraged to provide handouts or other types of information which may aid the students, but this is not required.


  • What is the Program’s goal?

The Program is designed to provide the students with information about careers in engineering. With this information, it is hoped that the students can make a more informed decision regarding such a career. Of course, it is hoped that the students will decide to enter the profession.

  • Who is responsible for the student’s safety during a visit?

The Allegheny Intermediate Unit and the students’ school district carry insurance on the safety of the students during any visit. Additionally, each student’s parents must approve, in writing, their child’s participation in the program prior to be accepted. Documentation can be provided upon request.

  • How can I participate in the Program?

Simply express your willingness to participate when an Apprenticeship Committee member contacts you or contact:

PSPE, Pittsburgh Chapter

337 Fourth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 391-0615


Allegheny County Dept. of Engineering and Construction
Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corp.
Aristech Chemical Corp.
Astorino L D Associates LTD
Bayer Corp.
Calgon Carbon Corporation
Carnegie-Mellon University
Chester Engineers, Inc.
Chambers Development Company
Cutler Hammer
Davy McKee Corporation
Dick Corporation
DMJM+HARRIS (Frederick R. Harris)
DQE, Inc. (Duquesne Light)
Earth Science Consultants, Inc.
FORE Systems, Inc.
GAI Consultants, Inc.
HDR Engineering, Inc.
Kerotest Manufacturing Company
Kvaerner Metals
Medrad, Inc.
Mine Safety Appliances Co.
Murray Associates, Inc.
Neville Chemical Company
Peters Building Company
NIOSH (Bruceton Research)
Power Piping Company
PPG Industries
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
University of Pittsburgh
Westinghouse Electric Corp.
& many others