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Brown Signs AB 1308: CA Apprenticeships Strengthened by New Building Trades-backed Bill

Robbie Hunter, CA Building Trades Pres.

Robbie Hunter, CA Building Trades Pres.

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Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1308, Building Trades-backed legislation which protects successful state-approved apprenticeship programs by reinforcing the “need standard.”  The law is aimed at stopping contractors from establishing phony apprenticeship programs in order to pay lower wages to workers on public wage projects, a practice which harms the worker both fiscally and long-term as there is often no intention to graduate the apprentice to a higher wage scale or to journeyman status.  The bill also aims to ensure that apprenticeship programs in non-traditional sectors do not overlap with established training programs.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblymember Henry Perea. The new set of standards concerning the approval process seeks to correct problems the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) has had with approving apprenticeship programs that underperform and fail to graduate participants.  In a statement, Perea said:

“It’s important apprenticeship programs are performing at the highest standard to put people back to work.  As our infrastructure continues to age, the building and construction trades apprenticeship programs are vital to address the need for a highly skilled workforce for new construction and modernization projects. By strengthening the system, AB 1308 will ensure these programs can meet the demand. I applaud Governor Brown for signing this measure into law.”

Following Governor Brown’s signing, Robbie Hunter, President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, said in a statement:

“We thank Governor Brown for signing AB 1308 (Perea), which assures the integrity and strengthens state approved construction trades apprenticeship programs.  Over the last 70 years, these programs have graduated hundreds of thousands of skilled trades men and women throughout our state.  These highly trained workers have driven the economy and allowed California contractors to bid their projects under the lowest bid, using a streamlined and skilled workforce, completing projects on time, done once and done right. Taxpayers and California’s infrastructure have benefited from projects built by this skilled workforce that have lasted and served the public for decades and beyond.  We thank Assemblymember Perea for tremendous work and for carrying this legislation on behalf of the young men and women registered in California’s apprenticeship programs.”


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