Apprenticeship Utilization Act

Summary: The Apprenticeship Utilization Act encourages apprenticeship programs by requiring apprentices be used in public works projects.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act shall be called the “Apprenticeship Utilization Act.”

SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

(A) FINDINGS—The [legislature/council/commission] finds that:

1. A well-trained construction trades workforce is critical to the economic future of the [state/city/county].

2. The efficient and economical construction of public works projects will be hindered if there is not an ample supply of trained construction workers.

3. Apprenticeship training programs are particularly effective in providing training and experience to individuals seeking to enter or advance in the workforce.

4. By providing for apprenticeship utilization on public works projects, governments can provide training and experience that will help assure that a skilled workforce will be available in sufficient numbers for the construction of public works in the future.

(B) PURPOSE—This law is enacted to promote job training, improve the skills of the workforce, and enhance the economic vitality of the [state/city/county].

SECTION 3. APPRENTICESHIP UTILIZATION

After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:

(A) DEFINITIONS—In this section:

1. “Apprentice” means an apprentice enrolled in a state-approved apprenticeship training program.

2. “Apprentice utilization requirement” means the requirement that the appropriate percentage of labor hours within each separate craft or trade be performed by apprentices of that craft or trade.

3. “Labor hours” means the total hours of workers receiving an hourly wage who are directly employed on the site of the public works project. “Labor hours” includes hours performed by workers employed by the contractor and all subcontractors working on the project. “Labor hours” does not include hours worked by foremen, superintendents, owners and workers who are not subject to prevailing wage requirements.

4. “Public works” means construction projects financed by government funds, and includes those projects encompassed by [appropriate statute].

5. “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Department of [Labor], or the Secretary’s designee(s).

6. “State-approved apprenticeship training program” means an apprenticeship training program approved by the [State Apprenticeship Council].

(B) MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR APPRENTICESHIP UTILIZATION

1. From July 1, 20XX, through December 31, 20XX, for all public works projects estimated to cost two million dollars or more, all specifications shall require that no less than 10 percent of the labor hours within each trade be performed by apprentices of that trade.

2. [One year later] From January 1, 20XX, through December 31, 20XX, for all public works projects estimated to cost two million dollars or more, all specifications shall require that no less than 12 percent of the labor hours within each trade be performed by apprentices of that trade.

3. [An additional year later] From January 1, 20XX, and thereafter, for all public works projects estimated to cost one million dollars or more, all specifications shall require that no less than 15 percent of the labor hours within each trade be performed by apprentices of that trade.

4. Work shall not be divided among contractors or subcontractors in order to evade the requirements of this section. Where two or more contractors or subcontractors perform work within a trade, all such contractors or subcontractors shall comply with the requirements of this section.

5. All contractors and subcontractors subject to this section shall provide payroll reports on at least a monthly basis to the awarding agency or political subdivision awarding the work, certifying the names of all workers performing labor hours, their trade, hours worked, and designation as journey level worker or apprentice.

6. The awarding agency or political subdivision may adjust the requirements of this section for a specific project for the following reasons:

a. The demonstrated lack of availability of apprentices in specific geographic areas;

b. A disproportionately high ratio of material costs to labor hours, which does not make feasible the required minimum levels of apprentice participation; or

c. Other criteria the awarding agency director deems appropriate, which are subject to prior review and approval by the Secretary.

7. The failure by a contractor to comply with the apprentice utilization requirement shall be deemed a breach of contract for which the [state/city/county] is entitled to all remedies allowed by law and under the contract. Failure to comply with the apprentice utilization requirement shall be considered evidence bearing on a contractor’s qualification for award of future contracts.

8. This section does not apply to agencies and political subdivisions that adopt requirements for apprenticeship utilization on public works projects that equal or exceed those set forth in this section.

(C) ENFORCEMENT

1. The Secretary shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to implement and administer compliance.

2. No person, association, corporation or other entity shall discharge, demote, harass or otherwise take adverse actions against any individual because such individual seeks the enforcement of this section, or testifies, assists or participates in any manner in an investigation, hearing or other proceeding to enforce this section.

SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE

This Act shall take effect on July 1, 20XX.


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