Lawmaker Looks to Reform Apprenticeship Ratios

Kristi Pronovost The Merit Shop Advocacy Blog, The Merit Shop Spokesman Blog

By David G. Greineder, IOM, Director of Government Affairs, ABC Keystone

In mid-September, the Legislature will be back in session from their summer recess. Top of mind for ABC is continuing our advocacy on legislative proposals that will bring much-needed reform to the State Apprenticeship and Training Program. Reforming the way in which the state administers the apprenticeship law has been on our agenda for many years. We are encouraged more conversations are taking place in Harrisburg that recognize Pennsylvania is the only state out of compliance with federal regulations and the blatantly discriminatory advantage union apprenticeship programs have over non-union programs.

ABC is working closely with lawmakers on several proposals to level the playing field. One such bill was recently introduced by Representative Barb Gleim (R-Cumberland) as House Bill 1746. The legislation would update the apprenticeship ratio standards on a hazard scale as follows:

  • High hazard – three supervisors for each apprentice
  • Medium hazard – two supervisors for each apprentice
  • Low hazard – one supervisor for each apprentice

The bill also sets a 1:1 ratio for businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees for the first three apprentices, and a 3:2 ratio for apprentices after that. If a union program in the same industry allows a lower ratio than set by regulation, non-union programs will be allowed the same ratio.

We are hopeful the House Labor & Industry Committee will schedule hearings on this and other ratio bills in the coming months. Please be on the lookout for future email updates and ways to become engaged. If you are not signed-up to receive our email alerts, you can do so at abc.org/abcaction.

Augst 27, 2019