In Their Own Words
“Since time immemorial, people have been transferring skills from one generation to another in some form of apprenticeship. Four thousand years ago, the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi provided that artisans teach their crafts to youth. The records of Egypt, Greece, and Rome from earliest times reveal that skills were still being passed on in this fashion. When youth in olden days achieved the status of craft workers, they became important members of society.”1
Here in New York City there are a number of construction projects under way or soon to be developed. Having properly trained and skilled labor to support the industry serves the city well.
Those joining the workforce can begin a career to sustain a family and contribute to society becoming a trained worker in New York. Apprenticeship programs provide years of classroom training and on the job learning, working with experienced tradesmen. These programs provide hands on training lead by experienced and qualified instructors along with support materials and testing to ensure the material covered provide evidence of learning. In addition the programs provide classes to obtain the required New York City Department of Buildings and New York State licenses and certificates.
A bill No. 1447 has been introduced as a Local Law to amend the New York City building code, in relation to training and qualifications of persons engaged in the construction and demolition of buildings. There is a need to ensure workers on construction sites are properly trained to work safely to protect themselves co-workers and citizens that work, live or pass by construction sites. This bill will amend New York City building code by adding new definitions to read as below:
A worker who is employed and registered to learn a skilled trade through a New York state department of labor or United States department of labor registered apprenticeship program.
A plan containing all terms and conditions for the qualification, recruitment, selection, employment and training of apprentices, and registered with the New York state department of labor or the United States department of labor.
BONA FIDE CONSTRUCTION SITE SAFETY TRAINING PROGRAM
A training program authorized and approved by the commissioner for the trade or craft for which a person is employed that provides a minimum number of required hours for completion in safety related instruction and a minimum number of required hours of on the job training commensurate with, at least, one year of apprenticeship training in accordance with the standards set forth in section 815 of the New York state labor law and paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) of section 601.5 of the New York codes, rules and regulations.
More information on the bill here
Today there is an active push to not require that workers on jobs have been trained through an apprenticeship program. Opponents state that requiring that workers on construction sites will block residents from opportunities that were meant to enhance their lives. Their contention is that project labor agreements between local union construction trades and New York City Housing Authority violates HUD’s regulation 24 cfr 135 aka Section 3.
In the case of New York City Iron Workers there is a three year program where participants are residents. The program provides participants an opportunity free of charge to learn a trade. The program is open to all and among its members you will find minorities, women, immigrants and veterans. Those interested in joining follow a public notice to register for a test, the top 200 are given a physical test and are enrolled in the program.
Recently New York City Iron workers locals 40 and 361 apprentices contacted their local councilmen in support of bill 1447 to ensure workers on construction sites have been trained in programs certified by NYC DOB.