The State of California is forging ahead in its effort to ensure construction work is carried out almost exclusively by an apprenticeship trained labor force through enforcement of Skilled and Trained Workforce (STW) mandates.

According to the California Department of Industrial Relations “The STW requirements are qualifications for the building and construction workforce that California law requires on certain projects. Contractors and subcontractors who violate STW requirements can face civil penalties of up to $10,000 per month and debarment, i.e. being prohibited from bidding on, being awarded, or performing work on a public works contract. For these reasons, public entities, awarding bodies, bidders, contractors, subcontractors, and other STW-covered entities should understand and comply with the STW requirements.”

Furthermore, a public entity may require a bidder, contractor, or other entity to use a skilled and trained workforce to complete a contract or project regardless of whether the public entity is required to do so by a statute or regulation.

Why the Push?

It appears that there is an attempt here to nudge out of the labor pool those that would have qualified using the “equivalency” provision favoring instead those that have graduated from a state apprenticeship program.

Recent changes in A.B. 3018 (2018) to Public Contract Code sections 2600-2603, took effect on January 1, 2019. Currently, there are over fifteen STW statutes in various state codes, each of which applies to different types of projects. The chart below provides an overview of the current STW statutes as of July 1, 2019, and types of projects to which they apply.

By Garrett Francis, ECA President Email: [email protected]