Washington, DC – June 25, 2019 – North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) President Sean McGarvey issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) notice of proposed rulemaking on apprenticeship:

“North America’s Building Trades Unions commends the Administration for recognizing in the proposed rule on Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs that these new programs have no place in the construction industry. We firmly believe this exemption should be a permanent part of the final rule.

“Construction and construction maintenance are, by their very nature, among the most dangerous industries. Workers perform difficult physical labor, and are often exposed to extreme temperatures, heavy machinery, toxic substances and hazards related to oncoming traffic on road and bridge projects. To guard against these inherent dangers and promote first-rate work, workers must receive the highest quality education and training. And the building trades’ Registered Apprenticeship Programs provide just that.

“Based on our 100 years of experience running the world’s most successful job training model, we know what works to meet specific demands of employers and an entire industry, while also providing workers with pathways to the middle class. Our $1.6 billion annual investment, funded jointly with our industry partners without any tax dollars, trains hundreds of thousands of men and women at 1,600 registered training facilities located in every state and almost every Congressional district. As the proposed rule recognizes, any new parallel system of apprenticeship must not undercut this significant investment and the high standards petrochemical, nuclear, refining, pharmaceutical and power industries demand.

“The building trades support expanding apprenticeship to new and emerging industries, and we were happy to take part in the Presidential Taskforce on Apprenticeship and the National Workforce Policy Advisory Board to share the lessons of our long-term experience. We know that success in apprenticeship must be based on firm employer financial commitment, thoroughly-tested standards and verified outcomes. NABTU looks forward to participating in the public comment period on this critical issue and the future of workforce training.”