Rep. Schmidt legislation to address apprenticeship program objections receives public hearing

Before an overflow public hearing room in Olympia,  Rep. Suzanne Schmidt presented House Bill 2087 to the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee.

“We have a workforce shortage in our trades. It is critical we get more people into and through our apprenticeship programs,” said Schmidt, R-Spokane Valley. “Part of that process involves ending the frivolous objections made when employers try to create an apprenticeship program.”

Under current law, a competitor may object to the approval of a new apprenticeship committee, proposed standards, or proposed revisions to existing program standards if the committee or standards do not conform to agency rules adopted by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I).

“What has happened for many years is that competitors are filing unrealistic or pointless objections. This allows competitors to control competition and significantly delays the approval process,” said Schmidt. “We want apprenticeship programs that are seeking state registration to receive prompt consideration with a minimum delay, so there are more apprenticeship opportunities available for workers and employers.”

The Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council approves apprenticeship programs and standards. The new law would rely upon L&I to provide guidance and expertise to the Council in assessing objections.

Schmidt is hopeful House Bill 2087 will be voted out of committee so the conversation can continue to ensure efficient and consistent standards for adjudicating competitor objections.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov