Michigan House Republicans
Kuhn votes against new apprenticeship requirement for state construction projects
RELEASE|April 24, 2024
Contact: Tom Kuhn

State Rep. Tom Kuhn today voted against legislation that would require an apprenticeship degree to work on state construction projects, which he said could prevent qualified people from working.

“This change could prevent a 55-year-old welder who has been on the job for 30 years with a credential and certificate from the American Welding Society from working on state projects if they don’t have an apprenticeship, which is absurd,” said Kuhn, R-Troy. “This legislation is fundamentally flawed because it doesn’t take work experience into account, and I don’t think we should discriminate against qualified workers.”

If signed into law, the new requirement could displace AWS certified welders, ASSE certified plumbers, HVAC techs with associate degrees, and others because those skilled positions do not require an apprenticeship.

The legislation specifically requires all construction, repair or remodeling projects to be performed by individuals who have completed or enrolled in a registered apprenticeship program. It does not include a waiver for people with relevant experience.

Despite Kuhn’s objection, House Bill 5516 was approved by the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government. It now goes to the full House.

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