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NECA Legislative Top Three 3/13/20: USDOL Preserves Gold Standard Construction Apprenticeships

Mar 13, 2020

1. NECA Helps Secure Construction Industry Exemption in Final IRAP Rule

apprenticeship video screenshotOn March 10, 2020, the Department of Labor released the final rule of the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAP) regulation. The final rule contains a permanent construction industry exemption, thereby protecting our industry from participation in IRAPs. NECA released a statement thanking the Administration for recognizing that the construction industry has longstanding expertise in the creation and execution of apprenticeships.

NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA strongly advocated for the construction industry’s exemption, with thousands of NECA contractors sending comments to the Department of Labor. By securing this exemption, the long-established, gold standard apprenticeship model that NECA Contractors utilize will remain intact and not be subjected to these parallel programs which will operate with less scrutiny and limited educational requirements.

2. The House Introduces Legislation to Address COVID-19 Outbreak

Washington D.C., like the rest of the nation and world, is responding to the outbreak of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). On the evening of March 11, President Trump addressed the nation live from the  Oval Office. On Capitol Hill, negotiators continue to work to find a compromise between competing coronavirus response bills.

NECA’s Look Ahead: In response to the crisis, the Senate plans to cancel a previously scheduled recess week. The House will gavel out today and will return to Washington D.C. on March 23, 2020 to finish the negotiations on a final response package. NECA CEO, David Long, released the following statement in response to the legislative and regulatory negotiations: “ NECA government affairs remains fully engaged with Members of Congress, the Department of Labor, and OSHA on how to best handle the COVID-19 outbreak with safety being a top concern for our contractors and their employees. We continue to monitor legislation coming out of Congress to address the economic impact of this outbreak and will inform our contractors on how to best work with the new regulations when they are finalized.”

3. NLRB Chairman Testifies Regarding Funding      

On March 11, 2020, the House Committee on Appropriations held a hearing on the National Labor Relations Board Budget Request for FY 2021. Testifying on behalf of the NLRB was the Honorable John Ring, Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB budget request and justification documents can be found here.

NECA’s Look Ahead: The NLRB’s FY 2021 budget request funds their mission to protect the rights of employees, unions, and employers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). NECA believes that lawmakers should continue to fully fund the NLRB and encourage their leadership to expedite the hiring of their regional offices.