The Trump Administration propped up an executive order, which Trump signed last month, to increase the number and efficiency of federal apprenticeship programs across numerous industries. The order will direct more federal funding to private companies that offer apprenticeships but will also likely enlarge the influence the government has on those companies as well.
While the executive order is new, the federal apprenticeship programs are not. For years, federal agencies as well as many state-level agencies have funded apprentices in an attempt to improve the American workforce by raising the number of specialists and experts in technical or industrial fields. For example, California requires that any project to improve public works enlist apprentices so long as that project is expected to cost at least $30,000 to complete.
The order signed by Trump will increase the apprenticeship program funding by about 100%. It will not create any new taxes to gain those funds. Instead, it will simply take a larger portion of preexisting federal funding. The industry expected to be most affected by the executive order is the construction industry, as there are many roadworks and similar public works projects slated for the future.
Additional components of the apprenticeship executive order include:
- Encouraging more industries to allow the Department of Labor (DOL) to create federal apprenticeship programs.
- Creates a new DOL-ran Task Force to draft new business strategies that would allow for more apprenticeships in state- and federal-level industries.
- Allows industries and corporations that excel and truly promote apprenticeships to be recognized by the newly-formed Excellence in Apprenticeship Program.
- Requires any agency that uses apprenticeships to submit relevant financial and business growth information to the Director of Management and Budget, which will then be used in the 2019 Fiscal Year Budget.
Overall, the executive order and the apprenticeship programs it creates or promotes could prove to be a benefit for construction firms around the country. On the other hand, if the legal requirements established by this new executive order are unclear, it is possible that construction companies and other corporations involved in similar industries could inadvertently violate regulations or otherwise end up in legal trouble.
If you manage, own, or run a company within the construction industry and have run into legal problems, perhaps due to apprenticeship rules and requirements, Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C. and our Marietta construction litigation attorneys can help. We have more than 125 years of combined legal experience tackling some of the biggest and most complicated problems in our clients’ lives, from materialmen’s lien claims to residential collection issues. Feel free to contact our firm for a free consultation with our staff, during which we can tell you what you should do next to protect yourself and your business from potential legal consequences.