OAKDALE (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Technical Institute broke ground on Tuesday for a brand new facility that will house two new programs. It was an exciting moment for officials at the Pittsburgh Technical Institute.

Ground is officially broken on the PTI Energy Technology Center.

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The 15,000-square foot facility will be located on the southeast corner of PTI’s campus.

It will house state-of-the-art industry equipment that will be used for hands-on training for two new programs, welding and oil and gas electronics.

“Classes in some of these new programs are filling up beyond our expectations,” said Greg DeFeo, the president of PTI. “Employers are coming out and telling us the faster we can get a qualified work force out there, they are ready to hire them, so we are excited.”

Leaders at PTI have spent more than a year coming up with curriculum for the new programs.

They say graduates will be ready to enter into critical positions in growing fields.

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There is currently a shortage of skilled welders, students in the oil and gas program will be qualified for a number of jobs.

“Those students will be able to go out, work with control systems, electronics, be maintenance-type technicians that are working on the well sites or traveling around working on well sites,” said Jeff Belsky, the vice president of Strategic Initiatives.

PTI estimates that 200 new students will enroll in the new programs in 2013.

“We are all excited, everybody here at PTI is excited about it,” said Belsky.

Construction is expected to wrap up in the fall.

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