Responsible Bidding
Training & Apprenticeship
We’ve touched on the training & apprenticeship aspect on this website, but this is the one that we probably field the most questions about, so we’ll expand on the idea of a registered Apprenticeship program here.

The US Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration has summarized the topic very well, so we’ll use their words here. Also, you can find more information at

What is Registered Aprenticeship?

Apprenticeship, a proven training strategy that prepares skilled workers, helps America compete more effectively in the global economy, and contributes to our economic development, sustained economic growth and national security.

Who Does Registered Appreticeship Serve?

Nationwide, 80,000 industries and companies offer registered apprenticeship training to more than 395,000 apprentices. These training programs serve a diverse population, including minorities, women, youths and dislocated workers. Currently, approximately 80% of all apprenticeship training positions are in the construction and manufacturing industries. Experts agree, however, that apprenticeship has the potential to benefit numerous other industries, as well, including the service, retail, and the public sector. With this in mind, the possibilities for expanding apprenticeship -- and meeting the needs of many more American companies and citizens in search of high quality training opportunities -- are virtually unlimited.

Who Operates and Pays for Apprenticeship Training?

Registered apprenticeship programs are operated by private industry - employer or labor/management sponsors. Registered apprenticeship programs range from one to six or more years in length. For the apprentice, this translates into an “industry scholarship” worth $40,000 to $150,000. Since the content of the training program is determined by industry needs, apprenticeship produces workers with high demand skills. All this comes at no cost to the government agency utilizing those skilled workers and the training they are receiving.

What Role Does Government Play in Appreticeship?

As a result of the Federal Apprenticeship Act of 1937, the federal government (specifically the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship Training, in cooperation with the states) oversees the nation’s apprenticeship system. The agency issues Certificates of Completion to apprentices, encourages the development of new programs through marketing and technical assistance, protects the safety and welfare of apprentices, and ensures that all programs provide high-quality training to apprentices.

What is the Government's Return on Investment for Appreticeship?

The government’s return clearly outperforms other types of government-sponsored job training programs. Apprentices “earn as they learn,” and wages paid totally by the private sector begin as soon as the apprentice enters training.

In sum, it makes sense for contractors doing business on behalf of government agencies to sponsor apprenticeship programs. It fosters an environment of learning and education while helping to assure the highest level of construction expertise possible.

It is also worth noting that part of the prevailing wage requirement that contractors must pay workers is allotted to training - if you look in detail at prevailing wage requirements, there is a certain amount allotted to base wages, pension, welfare and training. So, since a portion of all wages paid to workers is going towards the training of those workers, you might as well hire a contractor that utilizes that allotment by participating in a training program.


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