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Hempstead passes stricter apprenticeship law

Thursday, April 26, 2018

John R. Durso, President of the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, said “The elected leaders in the Town of Hempstead, America’s largest town, demonstrated today that they take seriously the responsibility they have to protect taxpayer dollars. These apprenticeship training policies protect tax-payer investments, ensuring trained, quality craftsmanship on public projects.  It is a testament to the leadership of Supervisor Laura Gillen, Majority-Leader Erin King-Sweeney and the entire town board.  Durso continued, “We believe this demonstrates their commitment to building a stronger community with a trained, well-paid workforce.”

Read the full story from the LIBN below.

The Hempstead Town Board unanimously voted Tuesday to approve new legislation that stiffens apprenticeship requirements on public construction projects.

Besides mandating that contractors on all public projects exceeding $250,000 must have state-approved apprenticeship programs, it also requires contractors to show that their programs are actually graduating apprentices, according to a town statement.

New York State already has a law that requires contractors working on public projects to have apprenticeship programs, but town officials say this new law closes a loophole that allowed contractors with apprenticeship programs to work on public projects even if they hadn’t graduated any from those programs.

“This legislation will not only ensure that our tradespeople are skilled, but will help give taxpayers the confidence in knowing important projects are being done safely,” Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen said in the statement. “Unfortunately, simply proving that an apprentice program exists, is not enough to those who wish to skirt the spirit and intent of the law.”

With a population of more than 760,000, Hempstead is the biggest town in the country and has an extensive infrastructure network of more than 1,200 miles of local roads.

The passage of the new Hempstead ordinance was lauded by local labor unions.

“The Town of Hempstead’s unanimous vote in favor of apprenticeship training requirements demonstrates their commitment to not only construction workers, but to every worker in this township and on Long Island,” Robert Bonanza, president of Laborer’s Local 66 and business manager of the Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York, said in a written statement. “Having the largest township on Long Island pass such sweeping legislation in support of construction workers and career-track jobs is monumental and we cannot thank Supervisor Gillen and the council members enough for this groundbreaking measure.”

This article first appeared in the LIBN