On August 14, 2019, the Department of Labor cancelled a number of contracts with the North American Building Trades Union, along with other union-industry operated apprenticeship programs, that run apprenticeship training programs with DOL funding. On August 15, 2019, the Acting Labor Secretary reversed course, and stated that the contracts will be renewed. Apprenticeship programs are not necessarily out of the woods, as policies for contract renewal will be reviewed.
Meanwhile, the DOL had published a proposed rule in June to create a new entity with authority to recognize “Industry – Recognized Apprenticeship Programs,” (IRAPs). While construction is temporarily exempt, this could change and that IRAPs may not provide the level of training and protections as current apprenticeship programs. Interested parties can file comments by August 26, 2019 here.
By: Alexia Kulwiec, School for Workers Associate Professor