The Buffalo News: Another Voice: Revision To Apprenticeship Law Hurts Taxpayers

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The Buffalo News: Another Voice: Revision To Apprenticeship Law Hurts Taxpayers

From The Buffalo News:

In late April, the Erie County Legislature, in a vote along party lines, passed Local Law 4-1 to close what they deemed to be a “loophole” in their apprenticeship law. Unfortunately, for the residents in Erie County, the ill-informed and misguided members of the Democratic majority chose to dramatically increase the cost of public construction at a time when financial resources for infrastructure are scarce.

The “loophole” was that contractors are not graduating enough apprentices. They felt 30 percent graduation should be the new standard. Our question: 30 percent of what? Is that 30 percent of your current workforce, or your currently enrolled apprentices, or maybe 30 percent of every apprentice you’ve register with the Department of Labor? That remains unclear.

Buried in the bill was a poison pill, the real reason for the change. Local Law 4-1 now mandates that contractors can only bid projects in the “type & scope of work” of their apprenticeship program. A change that has nothing to do with graduation rates. That change will dramatically alter what both union and nonunion contractors can bid and win. And it will hurt taxpayers.

Read the entire article: The Buffalo News

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