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Poloncarz closes 'loophole' in apprenticeship law

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz has signed an amendment to the county apprenticeship law, which will now require contractors on county-supported construction projects to offer apprenticeship programs with a graduation rate of at least 30 percent.

Since the 2006 apprenticeship law, the county has found some contractors and subcontractors on Erie County projects technically participate in training programs but don't actually graduate apprentices. The amendment is meant to change that.

"Contractors with the county must have NYS Certified Worker Training Programs that actually graduate workers as apprentices, thereby providing local workers with the education and skills training they need to succeed in construction trades now and in the future, while at the same time lessening the need for out-of-area workers on these jobs as local workers gain new skills,” Poloncarz said in a statement.

The measure, initially sponsored by Legislator Patrick Burke, D-Buffalo, passed the Legislature in a 6-5 vote.

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