You will certify in your bid and in your Apprentice Utilization Plan your commitment to attaining the 15% apprentice utilization. Keep the 15% in mind as you put your bid and subcontractor team together. The easiest way to avoid problems with the 15% apprentice utilization is to plan for it early in the process. At the time you submit a bid, you should have a very good idea of the level of apprentice participation you and all subs can attain. It is the Contractor’s responsibility to take action as soon as it becomes evident that meeting the 15% apprentice utilization will be a challenge. First, review your work plan to determine if there are any areas where you or your subs have the ability to increase the utilization of apprentices or other areas in which apprentices can be employed. If there are not, you will need to collect documentation demonstrating that you made a good faith effort to meet the requirement. If you cannot meet the 15% apprentice utilization or demonstrate that you made a good faith effort to meet the 15% you are not in compliance with the contract. SCC 3.05.070 states: “Failure by a contractor to comply with established apprenticeship requirements, unless otherwise waived or excused in writing by the executive pursuant to SCC 3.05.040, shall be deemed a breach of contract for which the county shall be entitled to all remedies allowed by law and under the contract. Failure to comply with the apprenticeship requirements may also be considered evidence bearing on a contractor’s qualification for award of future contracts with the county.” If you have questions about a particular situation you encounter, contact your Project Manager for guidance as soon as the situation arises.
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The intent of the apprentice utilization is to ensure there are always qualified workers to construct quality projects in the County and Washington State.
Truck drivers should only be reported if they spend the majority of their shift (4 or more hours) on the project site. You do not track how many hours a driver was on or off site, simply report all hours for drivers that spend most of their time on site and exclude all hours for truck drivers that spend most of their time off site (on their way to/from the job). You will only report hours for employees working on the project site. The owner/operator would not be included. Any employees receiving an hourly wage would be included.
You cannot use a program that is not State-Approved toward meeting the 15%. You’ll need to utilize an existing State-Approved program or other contractors on the job will need to make up for the shortfall in utilization caused by you not using a State-Approved program.
The prime contractor is responsible for developing and implementing a plan to achieve the 15% apprentice utilization. The prime contractor alone may not be able to meet the 15% and should subcontract with companies who may provide apprentice hours sufficient to meet the 15% for the project overall. The plan is a tool for both the Contractor and the Project Manager that shows how and when the Contractor intends to meet the 15% apprentice utilization. The plan should be based on the total hours and apprentice hours the Contractor and any subcontractors expect to achieve. The County is looking for a plan that is realistic and can be used to determine if the Contractor is on track to meet the 15% apprentice utilization. The Contractor is responsible for updating the plan as changes occur that would affect the Contractor’s ability to meet the requirement and communicating this information to the Project Manager. The Contractor should compare the plan periodically to the monthly statements to determine if the apprentice utilization is on track to meet the project’s established 15%. For projects with a short number of days for project completion, the Contractor should monitor the plan to actual labor hours more frequently. The Contractor shall provide the County with the Apprentice Utilization Plan prior to execution of the contract.
This documentation could be in the form of: 1. Letters or e-mail correspondence from apprenticeship programs or contractors 2. Documents showing you or your subcontractors participate in State-Approved Apprenticeship Programs 3. Lists or L&I ARTS printouts showing the availability or lack of State-Approved Apprenticeship Programs 4. Agreements, contracts or subcontracts 5. Photographs 6. Payrolls, timecards and schedules 7. Spreadsheets or data from company systems 8. Logs of phone calls with names, dates and outcomes
It is not the intent of the County to require the County’s 15% apprentice utilization if there is also a Federal requirement. If a conflicting Federal requirement such as TERO, Federal Training or DBE goals affected your ability to utilize apprentices, this will be accepted as long as it is determined that conflicting requirements (or other acceptable efforts) are attributable for the entire shortfall in apprentice hours and provided that you met the Federal requirement.
The intent of the 15% apprentice utilization is not for contractors to lay off their apprentice workers as soon as they journey out. If you have a small workforce and no hiring opportunity exists, this will be accepted as long as it is determined that this accounts for the entire shortfall in apprentice hours. You’ll need to demonstrate through documentation that your company has a history of hiring apprentices from State-Approved Apprenticeship Programs or enrolled your unskilled new-hires in these programs. You should also document any apprentices retained by your company and provide information about your project workforce and company workforce, such as how long your workers have been employed, if they were hired as journeymen or apprentices, and whether or not they graduated from State-Approved programs.
Other unique situations may come up. If you have questions about a particular situation you encounter, contact your Project Manager for guidance as soon as the situation arises.
Keep in mind that the intent of the 15% apprentice utilization is to utilize State-Approved Apprenticeship Programs to train apprentices. Very few situations where a contractor does not use State-Approved Apprenticeship Programs to meet the requirement will be accepted. The following examples do not meet the requirement: - Falling short of the requirement due to subcontractors not using apprentices. - Not using a State-Approved Apprenticeship Program . . .while you are trying to get your own program approved by the WSATC . . .due to cost. . . .because you are an out-of-state contractor - Not replacing an apprentice that quit or was fired. - Not using enough apprentices because certain work is too dangerous or the apprentices do not have the appropriate skills. There are circumstances where a level of experience that workers must have to perform certain types of work is specified. In these cases, track the hours where experienced workers must be used and the Project Manager will subtract them from the total journeymen hours to see if the requirement was met without them. There are State-approved non-union apprenticeship programs. They can be found at the Labor and Industries web address cited above. A resource list is provided at the end of this handout. Non-union contractors can also use union apprenticeship programs to train their employees. You do not have to sign a union agreement to utilize a union program and state law prohibits programs from asking you to join the union. State approved programs can be utilized as a Training Agent. If you are asked to join the union or told you must do so to utilize the program, please contact your regional L&I Apprenticeship Coordinator.
The situation(s) documented qualify as a GFE (meets the intent of the contract requirement and the spirit of the law)
The entire shortfall in apprentice participation can be attributed to the situations documented in your GFE.
Your submittal will be evaluated based on your attempts to utilize apprentice labor. The Project Manager will also evaluate the situation/s documented to determine if what you have documented is solely responsible for the entire shortfall in apprentice hours.
The Project Manager will submit the request with a recommendation to the Purchasing Department for final review and determination. The final determination will be issued in writing.
“Failure by a contractor to comply with established apprenticeship requirements, unless otherwise waived or excused in writing by the executive pursuant to SCC 3.05.040, shall be deemed a breach of contract for which the county shall be entitled to all remedies allowed by law and under the contract. Failure to comply with the apprenticeship requirements may also be considered evidence bearing on a contractor’s qualification for award of future contracts with the county.”
Failure to meet the requirement can result in debarment from County contract work for a period of time.