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Plumbers and Pipefitters 577 host local students
Plumbers and Pipefitters 577 host local studentsLocal students enjoyed an up-close look when they visited the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local No. 577 on March 21.

“I’m trying to get some of my students some hands-on work experience, while trying to help them figure out what they want to do,” said Andrea Cline, college and career transition advisor from the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, in New Boston, Ohio.

Cline took five students to the union hall, located on Gallia Street in Portsmouth, Ohio. They were hosted by Union Program Manager Kenneth Bailey, who showed the students around the union hall and even allowed them to thread pipe, glue PVC pipes and solder pipes, as well as observe welding and large pipes being lifted on a pulley to be used on an industrial structure.

“Exposing them to the community and the different job experiences that are offered really is helping them plan for their future,” Cline said. “What my (program) is all about is helping the students with self-determination skills to be able to advocate for themselves. We’re doing career exploration trying to get them hands-on work experience. Really, I feel like going there not only helped the students learn about another possible career path, but they got hands-on work experience. They learned about a skill, and they got to try it out.”

Bailey gave each student a union sweatshirt, work gloves, safety goggles and ear plugs to keep, and invited the program to come back again with more students.

Cline said the students were very impressed by the work they saw.

“A couple of them changed their mind about what they wanted to be. One of my students decided after going there that he wanted to be a pipefitter, and he wrote all about the requirements for the apprenticeship, and how they had to apply, and how long it took, and the skills he would gain,” Cline said.

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