Trade industries push for apprenticeship hiring ratio reform

A Republican legislator who also runs a small electrical company wants to reduce the state’s apprenticeship hiring ratio, which supporters say would help bolster Connecticut’s trade industry workforce. The state Department of Consumer Protection imposes a so-called “hiring ratio” on contracting companies in electrical, plumbing and metal-working trades. The rule is a bit technical, but it essentially requires contractors to have a certain number of licensed journeymen on staff for each apprentice they hire. “Strong licensing standards don’t just benefit union contractors and union workers, they benefit non-union employers, they benefit non-union workers, they benefit the whole industry,” said Kimberly Glassman, director of the Foundation for Fair Contracting of Connecticut, a private nonprofit that promotes and protects prevailing wage standards on federal, state and municipal public works projects.

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