Washington State House Democrats


Construction Workforce Expanding Under Riccelli Apprenticeship Bill

OLYMPIA – Under legislation sponsored by Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane), the skilled trade workforce should expand due to new requirements to include more apprentices on municipal public works contracts. Passed in both chambers and debated with multiple amendments, HB 1050 says that all public works contracts must use apprentices for 15 percent of their labor hours, phased in over the next five years.

“With the agreed to amendments to the bill, we have improved the way we expand our workforce by offering more local apprenticeships on our municipal projects,” said Riccelli. “By strengthening the apprenticeship pipeline and passing a Capital Budget that funds local projects, we are investing in our working families, local communities, and improving our economies across Washington state.”

Under the amended bill, municipalities will be required to utilize apprentices for 15 percent of their labor hours for projects over $2 million until July 1, 2026 and then $1.5 million until July 1, 2028. After July 1, 2028, 15 percent of labor must be apprentices for any project over $1 million.

“We are excited with the passage of ESHB 1050, which will provide opportunities for apprentices to access the middle-class family wage careers that we in the construction trades advocate and prepare for. Representative Riccelli as Prime Sponsor and the Legislature as a whole are taking the opportunity to leverage the private investment in workforce development that our apprenticeship model provides, add this to the public infrastructure investments in transportation, clean energy, and local projects and the combination of opportunities for construction careers are even further multiplied to benefit the citizens of Washington state. We at the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council are committed to making this a successful tool for diversifying our membership, while also supporting diverse contracting opportunities on public works projects of all sizes in all regions of the state,” Mark Riker, Executive Secretary, Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council.

HB 1050 now heads to the governor for approval.