Kern County Builders' Exchange News

Date ArticleType
5/15/2015 Legislation
“Skilled and Trained Workforce” - What you need to know about the laws coming our way!

“Skilled and Trained Workforce” -
What you need to know about the new laws coming our way!

Also In This Update

  • Governor Issues His ‘May Revise’
  • Prevailing Wage Change For Plumbers and Steamfitters In Northern California
  • Interested in Learning If there are Opportunities for Your Company with High Speed Rail?
  • Cal/OSHA Cites Two Companies for Lack of Safeguards Resulting in Accidental Amputation

  • Title 20 Appliance Regulations: Compliance Assistance & Enforcement Webinar


“Skilled and Trained Workforce” – ‘Fences’ are Growing!

Over the past several days, I have received emails from association executives expressing concern about language contained in existing law (SB 54 - Chapter 795 of 2013 Statutes) dealing with “skilled and trained workforce.”  While this statute affects ‘only’ petroleum refineries and petrochemical manufacturing facilities, similar language is now contained in three other bills this session (AB 566, AB 1185 and AB 1358); and, could likely ‘appear’ in other bills as the session winds on this year.


Here’s what each bill addresses (each also requires a “skilled and trained workforce”):


AB 566 (O’Donnell)  – Would apply to schools utilizing lease/lease-back arrangements for projects from $1 million and over.


AB 1185 (Ridley-Thomas)  – Would establish a pilot program to authorize the Los Angeles Unified School District to use, before December 31, 2020, a best value procurement method for bid evaluation and selection for public projects that exceed $1 million.


AB 1358 (Dababneh)  – Would require all schools utilizing design/build or best value for projects over $1 million to comply with the PLA and “skilled and trained workforce” provisions.


First and foremost, who is behind these efforts?  The State Building Trades is the sponsor of each of these measures and, quite simply, the political ‘conditions’ in Sacramento are ‘ripe’ to broaden the “skilled and trained workforce” requirements to as much potential work as possible.  Obviously, their reasoning is that the more work they can ‘lock-up’ the less work will be available for non-signatory contractors who cannot (they believe) comply with the requirements. 


Again, while the three current bills ‘only’ affect schools, there is little doubt that these provisions will ultimately be included in all public works projects and even into private funded projects that have some public funding (see AB 251 - Levine – which would define de- Minimis as less than $25,000 and less than 1% of the total project cost).


One other potential ‘problem’ deals with the fact current law requires that apprentices must be paid prevailing wage on private work.  For final year apprentices on some projects, it means they can make more money than a full journeyman!  While not a ‘deal-killer’ it can result in some costly problems.


What is a “skilled and trained workforce?”  The language is basically the same for each of the aforementioned bills.  The following is from AB 1358 dealing with design/build:


1).  A design-build entity shall not be prequalified or shortlisted unless the entity provides an enforceable commitment to the school district that the entity and its subcontractors at every tier will use a skilled and trained workforce to perform all work on the project or contract that falls within an apprenticeable occupation in the building and construction trades.


(1)  For purposes of this subdivision:


(A)   “Apprenticeable occupation” means an occupation for which the Chief of the Division of Apprenticeship Standards had approved an apprenticeship program pursuant to Section 3075 of the Labor line 2 Code before January 1, 2014.


(B)   Defines "skilled and trained workforce" as a workforce that meets all of the following conditions:


i)  All workers are either skilled journeypersons or apprentices registered in an apprenticeship program approved by the Chief of the DAS.

ii)  Individuals and subcontractors at every tier employed to perform work on the contract or project are comprised of skilled journeypersons that are graduates of an apprenticeship program approved by the Chief of the DAS or located outside California and approved for federal purposes pursuant to the apprenticeship regulations adopted by the federal Secretary of Labor, meeting the specified percentages and timeline:


(1)  At least 20% by January 1, 2016.

(2) At least 30% by January 1, 2017.

(3)  At least 40% by January 1, 2018.

(4)  At least 50% by January 1, 2019.

(5)  At least 60% by January 1, 2020.


iii)  Specifies that for an apprenticeable occupation in which no apprenticeship program had been approved by the Chief of DAS before January 1, 1995, up to one-half of the graduation percentage requirements may be satisfied by skilled journeypersons who commenced working in the apprenticeable occupation prior to the chief's approval of an apprenticeship program for that occupation in the county in which the project is located.


c)  Defines "skilled journeyperson" as a worker who either: 1) graduated from an apprenticeship program that was approved by the Chief of DAS or located outside California and approved for federal purposes pursuant to apprenticeship regulations adopted by the Secretary of Labor, or 2) has at least as many hours of on-the-job experience in an applicable occupation as would be required to graduate from an apprenticeship program for the applicable occupation that is approved by the chief.


2)  Provides that an entity's commitment that a skilled and trained workforce will be used to perform the project or contract may be established by any of the following:


a)  The entity's agreement with the school district that the entity and its subcontractors at every tier will comply with the requirements of this bill and that the entity will provide the school district with evidence, on a monthly basis while the project or contract is being performed, that the entity and its subcontractors are complying with the requirements of this bill.

b)  If the school district has entered into a project labor agreement that will bind all contractors and subcontractors performing work on the project or contract and that includes the requirements of this bill, the entity’s agreement that it will become a party to that project labor agreement.

c)  Evidence that the entity has entered into a project labor agreement that includes the requirements of this bill and that will bind the entity and all its subcontractors at every tier performing the project or contract.


How To Comply If Non-Signatory?

First, there is some ‘good news’ for non-signatory contractors.  While I’m still obtaining the complete list of approved non-signatory apprenticeship programs statewide, the ATTACHED List is what I have received thus far.  As the list expands, I will provide the information in a future update.  Please note, while these programs are approved, apprentices enrolled in these courses MUST ultimately graduate to meet the full provisions of existing and what likely will be the expanding requirements of a “skilled and trained workforce.”


To this point, there is skepticism amongst the sponsors that non-signatory contractors can ensure that their apprentices remain in an apprenticeship program for the full duration of the training.  This could indeed be an issue, but if the “skilled and trained workforce” provisions continue to proliferate, there may be no choice but to ensure that apprentices graduate.



Governor Releases ‘May Revise’

Gov. Jerry Brown presented a revised $115.3 billion general fund spending plan Thursday that includes hundreds of millions in additional money for the University of California in return for a tuition freeze on in-state students. To read the Sacramento Bee’s article, please go to:

DIR Releases New Prevailing Wage For Plumbers and Steamfitters in Nor Cal

To access the new rates sheet, please go to:

Interested in Learning IF there are Opportunities for Your Company with High Speed Rail?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Wasco Veterans Hall

1202 Poplar Street

Wasco, CA 93280

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is hosting an Industry Forum for businesses interested in working on the next 22-mile phase of construction in the Central Valley. The Industry Forum will provide an opportunity for small businesses to meet with the qualified firms eligible to submit proposals for the design-build Request for Proposals (RFP) for Construction Package 4 (CP 4).


Five world-class construction teams with international experience in developing high-speed rail programs have been qualified to bid and will be on hand to meet with small businesses and potential sub-contractors.  Work on CP 4 will extend approximately 22 miles from one mile north of the Tulare/Kern County line to Poplar Avenue north of Bakersfield, through the counties of Tulare and Kern and the cities of Wasco and Shafter.


The design-build contractor will be responsible for design and construction work that includes at-grade and aerial sections of the alignment and the relocation of several miles of existing Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) tracks.


Please join representatives from the Authority at this Industry Forum to network and learn more about the requirements of the contract, how to bid and the importance of small business participation.


To register for this event, please visit:



Cal/OSHA Cites Two Companies for Lack of Safeguards Resulting in Accidental Amputation


Cal/OSHA on Monday issued citations totaling $90,935 to C.C. Myers, Inc. and $7,200 to Terry Equipment, Inc. following an accident in which an employee of C.C. Myers was pulled into an unguarded concrete placer machine.  The 35-year-old man was cleaning the hopper of the machine owned by Terry Equipment, and sustained traumatic injuries to his right leg that resulted in subsequent complete amputation to the hip bone.

To read the full article go to:



Title 20 Appliance Regulations:  Compliance Assistance & Enforcement Webinar


The Appliance Office of the Energy Commission's Efficiency Division is providing a series of informational webinars to review current compliance and enforcement requirements under California's Title 20 Appliance Efficiency Regulations.  Topics include:  What is regulated?;  How to certify a regulated appliance; Using the appliance efficiency database; and the Energy Commission's enforcement authority.  All stakeholders involved with the sale of regulated appliances in California are encouraged to attend including manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers, and third party certifiers.


This webinar is scheduled for 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. on May 19, 2015 (also being offered on June 10 and June 23, 2015 under separate, unique meeting numbers).


VIA COMPUTER:  For the May 19, 2015 webinar go to and enter the unique meeting number: 927 734 585. When prompted, enter your name and the following meeting password: T20@10AM.


The "Join Conference" menu will offer you a choice of audio connections:


1.  To call into the meeting:  Select "I will call in" and follow the on-screen directions.

2.  International Attendees:  Click on the "Global call-in number" link.

3To have WebEx call you:  Enter your phone number and click "Call Me."

4.  To listen over the computer:  If you have a broadband connection, and a headset or a computer microphone and speakers, you may use VolP (Internet audio) by going to the Audio menu, clicking on "Use Computer Headset," then "Call Using Computer."



VIA TELEPHONE ONLY (no visual presentation):  Call 1-866-469-3239 (toll-free in the U.S. and Canada).  When prompted, enter the unique meeting number: 927 734 585.


VIA MOBILE ACCESS:  Access to WebEx meetings is available from your mobile device.  To download an app, go to


If you have difficulty joining the meeting, please call the WebEx Technical Support number at 1-866-229-3239.  Please be aware that the meeting's WebEx audio and on-screen activity may be recorded.