Two statewide studies reveal the damage prevailing wage repeal inflicts on apprenticeship enrollment and workforce development – and the negative aftershocks to state and local economies.
As reported by ACT West Virginia:
(The Minnesota study) shows for each dollar invested into apprenticeship programs $21 in economic value is produced.
(The West Virginia study) showed the repeal of the state prevailing wage law has led to a 28 percent decline in apprenticeship numbers relative to neighboring states with prevailing wage laws.
…”There is no reason to believe the connection found in Minnesota between apprenticeship and a healthy economy is any different in West Virginia,” said Dave Efaw, Secretary-Treasurer of the West Virginia State Building Trades Council.
West Virginia’s double-digit apprenticeship enrollment drop resulted from the state’s prevailing wage repeal, said Efaw.
In contrast, Minnesota’s prevailing wage law supports workforce development through registered union apprenticeship programs. Building Trades Apprenticeships are tuition-free and privately funded (taxpayer bill: $0). The result is an increase in middle-class jobs and a boost to Minnesota’s state and local economies:
Minnesota’s Building Trades and their contractors jointly invest over $30 million in their 10 largest apprenticeship training programs, generating $617.1 million in economic benefits from their private investment in training the next generation of union construction workers.
Ohio’s Building Trades invest nearly $60 million annually to privately fund over 80 apprenticeship training programs across the state. Based on the return-on-investment analyses in the Midwest Economic Policy Institute’s Minnesota study, Ohio Building Trades Apprenticeship programs deliver an estimated $1.24 billion long-term economic impact in the state of Ohio.