CONNstruction - Summer 2012 - (Page 11)

newsandviews Connecticut Apprenticeship Programs: On the Job Scholarship By Jack Leahy In the United States, the registered apprenticeship system, established under the 1937 National Apprenticeship Act, created a federal/state partnership in the oversight and management of apprenticeship and training programs. According to a recent U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration study, there were nearly 28,000 programs providing training to over 465,000 active apprentices The DOL’s Office of Apprenticeship oversees the registered apprenticeship system, issuing regulations, providing guidance and technical assistance to sponsors and state agencies. In Connecticut where 93 percent of apprentices are in the construction industry, the State Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship and Training with its professional staff of six is responsible for registering apprenticeship programs that meet federal and state standards. The agency helps sponsoring firms and union-management programs develop wage scales, course outlines, and on-the-job training components, and also issues Certificates of Completion to apprentices. It also protects the safety of apprentices and ensures that all programs provide high quality training. Programs with five or more apprentices are required to have affirmative action programs, something this department audits at least every two years. Currently, of the 3,529 active apprentices in Connecticut, (down from a high in 2008 of 6,508 prior to the recession) 388 are African American, 473 Hispanic, and 30 are Native American. Recruiting female apprentices continues to be challenging. Currently there are 111 active female apprentices. CCIA Director of Labor Relations As is usually the case in construction, program sponsors pay virtually all the training costs. Registered apprenticeship programs range from one to six years in length. For the apprentice, this translates into an “industry scholarship” worth $40,000 to $150,000. Since the content of the training program is determined by industry needs, apprenticeship produces workers with high demand skills. In Connecticut apprentices earn an average starting salary of $22,000. This generates more than $4 million in state and $20 million in federal tax revenues. For sponsoring firms, supporting apprenticeship programs makes business sense for several reasons. These programs produce a supply of skilled workers trained to industry/employer specifications. Worker compensation costs are reduced due to an emphasis on safety training and sponsoring employers also enjoy wage flexibility when working on public and private projects. This is because in order for a firm to employ an unlicensed worker who earns a reduced wage, in a trade subject to licensing requirements the worker must be in a registered apprenticeship program. This gives sponsoring firms a competitive edge, which also can help offset the cost of programs. Increasingly, Connecticut municipalities are requiring that construction contractors performing work on public work meet apprenticeship and local resident hiring goals. Waterbury, Connecticut for example has a 25 percent apprenticeship and 15 percent local resident hiring goal. This affords sponsoring firms an advantage in winning contracts because these firms can meet these goals. At the federal level, the U. S. Department of Labor has recently increased the number of audits of apprenticeship programs to make sure program resources are properly spent. Audits review plan spending practices, instructor salaries among other areas. One recent subject of scrutiny is interest in graduation ceremonies. The DOL issued a bulletin issuing guidelines to ensure that such ceremonies are “modest” and further cautioning against spending on “certain outreach expenses” which should have the objective of marketing the program and indicating that charitable donations from program assets would be impermissible. Our trustees or advisors serving on boards with the Carpenters, Operators, Laborers, and Ironworkers monitor these areas and all programs ams comply with these federal guidelines. CONNstruction / Summer 2012 / 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CONNstruction - Summer 2012

Old School
Fiscal Challenges and Changes to School Construction Grant Process May Affect Contractors
Connecticut Apprenticeship Programs: On the Job Scholarship
Time is Money: A Formula for Improving the State’s School Construction Process
Spreading the Word: Terry Wooding, Chair of the AGC of America’s Building Division
A Conversation with Pasquale “Bud” Salemi
2012 Build CT Winners
Large Renovation – Greater than $20 Million: O&G Industries, Inc.
Small Renovation – Less than $5 Million: Petra Construction Corporation
Specialty Contracting – Concrete Award: Manafort Brothers, Inc.
Other Specialty Award: United Steel Inc.
Honorable Mention Specialty - Interiors Award: M. Frank Higgins & Co., Inc.
ConsensusDOCS Offer an Alternative to Perceived Standard Agreements ConsensusDOCS includes more than
2012 AGC of CT Build CT Awards & Dinner
CRBA Spring Dinner Meeting
CRMCA Annual Meeting
Index to Advertisers /

CONNstruction - Summer 2012