Governor boosts apprenticeship budget by $103M

Feb. 1, 2018 - Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget came through in a big way for state-approved apprenticeship programs, proposing $103 million to pay for the instruction that our unions provide – and have provided – in the schools.

Now it’s important for local Building Trades councils and affiliates to write and call and talk to our state legislators to get this budget item passed.

“Since the recession, our unions along with the California Professional Firefighters have strongly advocated for better reimbursement rates for our apprenticeship programs, and also for more funding – in step with the improving economy and the work it has generated,” said State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter. “Working with the Department of Finance and Gov. Jerry Brown’s office, we have finally achieved major new funding that will fully fund apprenticeship and provide the state with the skilled and trained workers that it needs to build out our infrastructure.”

The Department of Industrial Relations’ apprenticeship budget proposal would reimburse our local affiliates for the thousands and thousands of hours we had put into instruction.

Even though the Great Recession limited the training we provided, many of our programs never stopped delivering the instruction – going all the way back to the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Under the governor’s budget proposal, $31 million would be allocated toward the reimbursement for all the hours of training we provided going back a half-decade. An additional $48.4 million would augment the programs.

Tell your assembly members and state senators that we need these programs to help replenish the skilled-and-trained construction workforce. Apprenticeship is crucial to its maintenance. It’s a small but crucial investment we need to make to keep the California economy growing.        

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