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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When you’re looking for work, the best place to find a job is in an industry where there’s demand.

Experts say there’s definitely demand in the Pittsburgh region for people who are skilled at heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration work (HVAC-R).

That’s why Steamfitters Union Local 449 is holding an open house Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, at their $18 million state-of-the art Technology Center in Harmony, Butler County.

The Open House runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days and features a lunch buffet and raffle.

Union leaders say the new Technology Center is taking a “creative and aggressive approach” to training new workers and keeping seasoned professionals’ skills up to date in order to meet an industry prediction of 50,000 new HVAC-R techs needed the next decade

“Experts in our industry are projecting massive shortages of workers in our field in the next decade and the meager existing network of vocational education programs does not adequately prepare us to meet future needs,” said Kenneth Broadbent, Business Manager for Local 449 in a press release about the open house. “The members of our union are far ahead of the curve with a multi-million-dollar investment in training and education ready to meet the demands of a growing and evolving economy.”

On Friday, the open house will feature eight, free 90-minute seminars for engineers and other professionals, taught by qualified instructors from seven industry manufacturers. Participants will be able to earn credits that meet the continuing education requirements of their profession.

On Saturday, the facility will showcase the apprentice educational opportunities available to entry level students attending vocational schools, post graduates from trade and technical schools, and experienced service technicians currently working in the industry.

Contractors who hire apprentices and journeymen will be there to speak with job seekers, so bring your resume.

The Technology Center is located at 230 Wise Road in Harmony, right off exit 88 of Interstate 79 north.

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