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National Apprenticeship Week shines light on benefits to workers and employers, raises voices to preserve registered programs

National Apprenticeship Week has been re-branded by NABTU affiliates as National “Save” Apprenticeship Week in an ongoing effort to preserve industry registered programs like the Boilermakers’ apprenticeship program.

DURING NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP Week, November 11-18, thousands of American unions, companies, non-profits and government entities are celebrating career-training programs, and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers is calling on all to raise their voices to preserve construction-industry apprenticeship programs.

Building trades union programs, like the Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Program, train over 75 percent of all civilian registered apprentices in the country in the construction industry. Specifically, BNAP’s four-year program includes 576 classroom hours and 6,000 field construction hours. Each apprentice is required to pass numerous tests and achieve a minimum score to graduate from the program.

“The Boilermaker National Apprenticeship Program is best in the building trades,” said Mark Wertz, Coordinator of BNAP. “We graduate about 400 apprentices a year and take pride in turning out craftsmen and women who can do the job right, on time, in budget and safely. Our program is registered with the Department of Labor and consistently receives high ratings from our graduates.”

That’s why, this week, during National Apprenticeship Week, the Boilermakers union is calling attention to a measure that could put the Boilermakers’ apprenticeship program in jeopardy.

Currently, the Boilermakers and other affiliates of North America’s Building Trades Unions are engaged in a campaign to urge the Department of Labor to retain standards for industry registered construction apprenticeship programs, like the Boilermakers’ apprenticeship program. The union building trades are requesting that their rigorous apprenticeship programs be exempted from DOL’s proposed “Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs” (also known as IRAPs). This is imperative to preserving construction, industry-specific tested and proven apprenticeship programs with high standards in place to ensure the safety of workers and the public. A final Department of Labor ruling on IRAPs and union exemption is expected mid-December.

For more about this issue and how you can help, visit https://nabtu.org/apprenticeship-and-training/ and follow the Boilermakers’ official social media channels at Facebook @Boilermakers.union, Twitter @boilermakernews and Instagram @boilermakersunion and @boilermakerapprentice for more information.