Officials of Indiana's Ivy Tech State College Northwest and the MCA of Chicago/Local Union 597 have announced a new degree program for apprentices and journeymen in its training program.

The Associates degree of Applied Science in Apprenticeship Pipe Fittings, as it's called, allows Chicago's union pipe fitters to earn a college degree while they go through the MCA/LU 597 Apprenticeship Program. It is open to anyone currently in the program, as well as those who have successfully completed it.

Apprentices in the five-year LU 597 program begin earning about $20,000 annually, but by the time they have completed their fifth year, their earnings top $60,000. For more information, contact the association at 312/670-6740 or visit MCA's homepage at