(April 2) – Rep. Adrienne Benavidez’s bill to spur workforce development in the construction trades passed the House today.

Colorado will need upwards of 30,000 construction workers in the next 20 years, but the industry is struggling to find enough skilled workers to meet the need. HB-1278, sponsored by Rep. Benavidez, D-Adams County, will help solve the problem by promoting apprenticeships in the construction trades.

To become a fully-qualified journeyman or journeywoman, an apprentice needs to have approximately 2,000 hours on the job and to complete extensive classroom studies. To help ensure that apprentices get the experience they need, the bill requires that for state projects over $500,000, contractors use apprentices for at least 25 percent of the workers on their jobsites. If contractors can’t meet this requirement they may file an affidavit to be excused.

“This bill addresses a glaring need in our state’s growing economy,” Rep. Benavidez said. “The construction industry helps build the middle class and gives workers the opportunity to earn a livable wage, send their children to college and save for retirement.”

 

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