PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Technical Institute has begun construction on the PTI Energy Technology Center, a 15,392-square-foot steel structure to serve as headquarters for new programs in welding technology, HVAC technology, and oil and gas electronics.
The new center will be located on the southeast corner of PTI’s campus in North Fayette Township.
Along with the offerings in the new center, PTI will offer a new degree in oil and gas electronics.
“Research suggests a high demand in Western Pennsylvania for electronics professionals at compressor stations, at energy facilities, and on pipeline projects who have the skills to monitor the extraction, storage and transmission of this natural resource,” said PTI President Greg DeFeo.
The school is enrolling now for the oil and gas electronics program set to begin in July and the welding technology program that will begin in October.
PTI said in a press release that student interest and employer reaction to its new programs have been strong. Student enrollment is building faster than anticipated and the college’s career services department has been receiving requests from employers for both interns and graduates.
PTI said it expects that around 200 students will enroll in the two programs.
The Energy Technology Center is scheduled for completion in time for fall classes. It was designed by Felix A. Cardella III of TKA Architects. The general contractor for the $3.5 million project is Franjo Construction.
Labs designed to support welding and HVAC programs include high-bay spaces averaging 24 feet in height.
The Energy Technology Center will include general classrooms, faculty offices, meeting rooms, a two-story plaza lobby, a walkway linking the building to the campus’ main building and student apartments, and a rain garden located on the building’s west side.
The facility will feature three distinct labs with nearly $1 million of state-of-the-industry equipment designed for hands-on learning in welding, HVAC and electronic equipment specific to the oil and gas industry.
The project is made possible in part by a $750,000 grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program designed for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic and historical improvement projects.
“PTI has been part of our region’s industrial history for more than 60 years,” said Bill Flanagan, vice president of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. “Investing in its new programs and the Energy Tech Center, PTI becomes centrally aligned to the high-demand jobs in all seven energy sectors for the future of Western Pennsylvania.”
The Allegheny Conference recently published a Workforce Analysis Report examining the future of energy sector jobs in Greater Pittsburgh including coal, gas, nuclear, solar, wind, transmission and distribution, and intelligent building technologies.