BRIDGEVILLE, PA. — Gillece Services, specializing in plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical, and waterproofing services, is excited to have been approved in the fall of 2013 by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Veterans Affairs, as an authorized plumbing training school for veterans. Military veterans now have the opportunity to receive hands-on training through a plumbing apprenticeship with Gillece Services.
The Gillece Veterans Training Program allows for students to apply for assistance under the G.I. Bill in addition to receiving paid training. The Veterans Training Program works alongside the Associated Master Plumbers of Allegheny County, for a four-year program that combines schooling and 8,000 hours of apprenticeship work under a licensed Master Plumber in order for students to become journeyman plumbers.
Gillece Services has a 7,600-sq.ft. training facility that offers students and Gillece employees the opportunity to learn about the latest industry technology. The training facility, which houses HVAC, plumbing, electrical, water filtration equipment, simulators and other innovative tools and equipment, was originally a car dealership that Gillece bought and converted. At the training facility, students work on demo units and apply acquired plumbing skills.
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Recently, Gillece Services partnered with the Pittsburgh Technical Institute (PTI) to house high-tech equipment classes for PTI students at the facility. Students come in during their last semester for their internship. When at Gillece’s training facility, students learn how to use high-tech industry equipment, such as thermal imaging cameras.
All you need is a will, drive
“Plumbing and HVAC trades people are becoming scarce and we want to grow our own,” said Tom Gillece, founder and president of Gillece Services. “We see people in the military as great workers and very motivated workers, which make them perfect candidates to train and work in the trades.”
To be an apprentice at Gillece Services, students need to have the will and drive to learn about plumbing, said Gillece.
“If the veteran has the will and drive, then we will give them on-the-job training and classroom training at our facility,” said Don Ross, head of training initiatives at Gillece Services. “We are hoping we even get people out of the state interested in taking this program. For many people, it’s tough to find jobs, and we are looking to hire many employees. Right now we need 26 more technicians, and this is a growing number.”
When a veteran shows interest in Gillece Services’ program, the company will put them in touch with the Pennsylvania Department of Education; someone there will walk them through the paperwork process.
Gillece also points out that veterans can have their schooling partially paid for and they do receive a stipend.
“They can apply through the G.I. Bill for additional funding to help them with their daily living costs,” added Gillece. “It’s really a great program. When they are done with the four year program they can then get their masters license, of course, they will need to take the test and pass it, but with our program they will get all the training they need.”
According to Matt Cornwell, a military veteran and apprentice at Gillece, he couldn’t be happier with the training program offered by Gillece.
“When I was in the military I took six weeks of plumbing and knew immediatetly that I like it,” said Cornwell. “I was looking for a good plumbing company to get my foot in the door and I found Gillece. I highly recommend Gillece to anyone interested in plumbing.”
Gillece technicians hold several certifications including NATE, EPA and DOT, and the staff receives ongoing training to stay up-to-date on the latest in HVAC, plumbing and electrical technology, equipment and innovations.
Also, Gillece Services has been a Nexstar member for 17 years. The Nexstar Network was founded on the premise of contractor success through education and sharing, a principle that guides the Nexstar Network every day.
About Gillece Services
Tom Gillece, founder/president of Gillece Services, realized his career aspirations at an early age. He developed a keen interest in the plumbing trade while working for a local plumber when he was a teenager.
By the time he graduated from high school, he had acquired a Journeyman license and, a year later, he earned his Master Plumber license making him, at the age of 20, the youngest person in Allegheny County to earn this status.
He started his own company in 1980, just he and a helper working out of a small building on Brownsville Road. Even then he was a thought-leader in his industry; he knew the best way to grow was to expand services, offering local residents a one-stop source for all home repair and replacement needs. Through hard work, vision and determination Gillece built a full-service organization, expanding his core plumbing, heating and cooling to offer electrical, waterproofing and water filtration.
His progressive and aggressive approach to specializing in emergency repair and replacement led him to develop a state-of -the-art technology and support system to offer unmatched convenience for local residents.
Gillece holds a master plumber license and keeps up-to-date with ongoing professional training certifications. He personally leads internal training programs and remains committed to his trade and the communities in his hometown.
His company gives thousands of dollars in donations to local community projects through the Gillece Cares Community Support initiative and donates furnaces to senior citizens and veterans though the Gillece Free Furnace Program. Gillece also remains committed to helping the people of Haiti; he continues donating equipment and labor to the county’s ongoing rebuilding efforts.