According to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America, sixty-two percent of Pennsylvania contractors reported that they were having a hard time filling positions for skilled craft positions like carpenters, electricians, plumbers and others. Part of the reason for Pennsylvania’s shortage is an antiquated regulatory framework governing apprenticeships.
Under Pennsylvania law, open-shop (nonunion) contractors are required to have four supervisors for every apprentice. Conversely, union contractors can have one supervisor for every apprentice. Not only does this provide an unfair advantage to union contractors, but it also creates a bottleneck for training new skilled trades’ people.
Legislation to address apprenticeship ratios is being introduced by Rep. Craig Staats. The co-sponsorship memo can be viewed here. According to the memo thirty-nine other states have made this change to apprenticeship ratios. It’s time for Pennsylvania to join them.
Please, take a moment to contact your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor this legislation.