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No Mandatory Apprenticeship Quotas on Pierce County Project

AGC applauds the recent announcement by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy that she will not implement a mandatory government apprenticeship quota on the $300 million Chambers Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion.

AGC encouraged the Public Works Department and the Executive to abide by collective bargaining agreements without adding another layer of apprenticeship quota requirements by arguing among other things that additional quotas are not achievable and that in the attempt to reach them journeymen would lose jobs to apprentices.

Existing agreements between labor unions and union contractors provide for some level of apprenticeship programs today said McCarthy in a letter to the County Council. While I endorse these agreements I also recognize that in today’s slow economic conditions many of our journey-level workers are unemployed. It is for this reason that I will not be implementing a minimum apprenticeship quota on the Chambers Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion.

AGC Southern District Manager Tim Attebery has been talking with the Public Works Department and elected officials for months on this issue. Government mandates of apprentice utilization quotas of any size on public construction jobs have been opposed by AGC members union and open shop alike because this approach is impractical in the real world Attebery said. Requiring that a fixed percentage of workers in each trade or craft on a construction jobsite be apprentices is not possible as many construction fields to not have approved apprentice programs and many construction crews are too small to accommodate such a requirement and still operate effectively.

For more information contact Tim Attebery 253-896-0033.

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