Labor Department Apprenticeship Program Omits Construction Sector

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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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