Occupational licensing bureaucracy

The restrictions on how many apprentices can work on a job site or under a licensee is making it impossible to fill our state’s need for licensed skilled trades. We need clear and consistent rules that help make our licensed trades stronger by ensuring that there are enough people to do the work and that they all have the skills and knowledge to do the job.

Quality of work and public safety

With licensed trades, you know the quality of work you will be getting because it is backed up by years of training and experience. Without enough licensed trades, employers and consumers are turning to unlicensed workers who might not know all the rules or have the skills needed. This means a poorer quality of work and risks the safety of everyone.

Skilled trades opportunities

The current shortage means that workers are coming in from out of state or, worse yet, the projects and work that should be done here, are going elsewhere. More licensed trades means more work for everyone – not just in the trades, but for everyone both up and downstream of the work.

The coming slow down

Our licensed trades are getting older and are taking on fewer apprentices. If we don’t address this crisis now, the lack of available licensed trades will drive up costs and push work away from our state. This will lead to a slower growth, or worse, a declining economy.

Unlicensed work means unpermitted work

When folks can’t hire a licensed trade or get the work done in a reasonable amount of time, they will turn to non-licensed workers. An unlicensed worker means the work is often un-permitted and thus un-inspected. This sets the bar very low and can impact home and business owners down the road and when they least expect it. Licensed trades work with inspectors to make sure every job meets or exceeds the requirements, giving everyone peace of mind.

Education & training

The government has dedicated tax dollars to education that isn’t resulting in good jobs. More and more, governments are recognizing that licensed trades are foundational to a strong economy, but while we encourage more young people to enter trades programs, we don’t have the space for them to apprentice when they are done. We need to connect the trade school grads with waiting apprenticeships so that these graduates can get good paying stable careers that can support a family and help make better communities.

Housing shortage

The housing shortage is not just an issue for people wanting to buy a home – it is driving up the cost of living for everyone. Fewer licensed trades means that it takes longer to build new homes or apartments and doing so costs more. Fewer homes for those who want to buy, means higher rent for everyone else. Higher housing costs makes it harder for folks to get by.

Crumbling infrastructure

Our nation has a problem with crumbling infrastructure. Licensed trades help build the facilities needed to support our critical infrastructure and they are often working directly on the projects to fix or replace what is already there. Fewer licensed trades means these projects face cancellations, delays and rising costs, soaking up vital tax dollars that are sorely needed to address this problem.

Modernization and the new economy

Our economy is changing, but the challenges are not. We still need licensed trades to be able to build the workplaces to help re-tool factories to prepare for new technology and more efficient manufacturing. Without enough licensed trades, existing manufacturing will become less efficient risking existing jobs, and new manufacturing facilities and the jobs that come with them will go elsewhere.

Pensions at risk

The licensed trades that we do have are getting older and there aren’t enough young people to fill the rolls. This has led to underfunding of pensions and puts the retirement and wellbeing of all the workers that came before us who worked hard their whole life and deserve a secure retirement. Without new workers, these pension plans and the benefits are at risk of having to decrease or cut benefits. New, younger workers help keep pension plans strong and provide our retirees with the security and peace of mind they so richly deserve.