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Apprenticeship Requirement in LI

Riverhead Town Adopts Apprenticeship Requirement for Large Municipal Construction Contracts

In a long-sought victory for construction trade unions, Riverhead Town has amended its procurement policy to require contractors and subcontractors on certain construction contracts to participate in an apprenticeship program approved by the state labor department.

The New York State Laborers' Organizing Fund, LECET and members of the Nassau Suffolk Building Trades played a crucial role in making the requirement a top priority; the idea has never before gained support of a board majority to even hold a public hearing on the proposal.

At a public hearing on the proposal, local residents who earn their livelihood in the construction trades unions stood to voice support for an apprenticeship program. Council member James Wooten said that, “five years ago there was an unfair playing field” but things had changed, and he could now support the policy “as long as there’s a competitive bid process.”

“We’ve sought this for a very long time,” Building and Construction Trades Council president Matthew Aracich said. “Area standard wages protect the middle class families financially, provide opportunity for all and strengthen the local economy.”

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