Apprenticeship Program

Snohomish County recognizes that a highly skilled workforce is essential for enhanced economic growth with continued prosperity for workers throughout Snohomish County and that the responsibility to train the next generation of skilled workers rests with both public and private sector employers. The County is committed to promoting quality projects performed by contractors who share in the responsibility to train the next generation of skilled workers through the apprenticeship programs.

In accordance with Chapter 3.05 Snohomish County Code (SCC), the apprenticeship utilization participation goal is at least fifteen percent (15%) of total project labor hours. The purpose of the 15% apprentice utilization participation on projects estimated to cost one million dollars or more is to put more people to work in the construction trades and to maintain a skilled workforce available to construct public works. To comply with the 15% apprentice utilization, contractors must commit to train apprentices using Registered apprenticeship programs.  (Threshold was increased to one million dollars effective November 2, 2020.   Threshold for projects prior to November 2020 was $250,000.)

This is an effective means of providing training and experience to individuals, including returning veterans, seeking to enter or advance in the workforce. It also offers the unique opportunity to earn living wages and receive excellent benefits, while acquiring valuable, marketable skills.

Exceptions (for projects started after November 2, 2020)

The executive or designee may reduce or waive the apprentice labor hour goals upon his or her determination that:

  1. the apprenticeship requirement conflicts with federal funding conditions or the conditions of any other funding; or 
  2. at least three of the below conditions are met as documented by the contractor and reviewed by the executive or designee:
    1. the contractor has demonstrated that it has utilized its "best efforts" to meet the established percentage requirement but remains unable to fulfill the goal;
    2. in order to meet the requirement, the contractor will be forced to displace members of its workforce; 
    3. the reasonable and necessary requirements of the contract render apprentice utilization infeasible at the required levels.
    4. a disproportionately high ratio of material costs to labor hours render apprentice utilization infeasible at the required levels;
    5. the contract has demonstrated that it has contacted multiple registered apprenticeship programs, yet an insufficient number of apprentices are available to meet the contract requirements; or
    6. the contractor has demonstrated that it has met or is meeting apprenticeship requirements on all of its existing county construction projects during the twelve months prior to execution of a new contract with the county.
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