Labor Department Apprenticeship Program Omits Construction Sector

At a time when the residential construction industry is suffering a severe labor shortage, the U.S. Department of Labor today missed a golden opportunity when it released its final rule to establish a process to develop industry-recognized apprenticeship programs. The agency specifically exempted the construction sector from taking part in the program.

“With the home building industry suffering a chronic labor shortage that is resulting in higher construction costs, increased home prices and lower economic growth, it is disappointing that the Labor Department’s final apprenticeship rule failed to include the construction sector,” said NAHB Chairman Dean Mon. “This is a missed opportunity at a time when there are 239,000 unfilled construction jobs and an acute shortage of skilled residential construction workers.”

Under the final rule, trade associations, educational institutions, state and local government entities or a consortium or partnership of these entities may become a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) that sets standards for training, structure and curricula for recognized apprenticeship programs in relevant industries or occupational areas.

The rule takes effect on May 11.

Despite this setback with the DOL rule, NAHB continues to lead the fight to expand federal and state job training and employment opportunities to prepare individuals for careers in home building.

For more information, contact Alexis Moch at 800-368-5242 x8407 or Felicia Watson at x8229.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Michael Fink says:

    What exactly is NAHB going to do right now “to lead the fight….”

    • NAHB Now says:

      On Capitol Hill, NAHB is adovocating for the modernization and expansion of the National Apprenticeship Act to expedite the approval process for apprenticeship programs that wil increase job training opportunities.
      NAHB also is advocating for legislation to expand Pell grant eligibility to students pursuing high-quality, short term training programs that lead to industry recognized credentials. These policies open the door for industries like construction to take advantage of funding and resources traditionally reserved for colleges and universities. In the long run, this could be significant for organizations offering workforce training. (These provisions are included in House and Senate proposals to reauthorize the Higher Education Act as well as in stand-alone legislation like the bipartisan JOBS Act.) In order to support a year-round visa program, NAHB supports H.R. 1740, the Workforce for an Expanding Economy Act, which would create a year-round guest worker program for construction.

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