DeForest, WI – The Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council praised Governor Evers veto of Senate Bill 125 – a bill that would have created a tax credit for tuition paid by an individual in an apprenticeship program. While our union supports initiatives that support apprenticeship, and the state should play a role in encouraging apprenticeship in construction, this bill was a lopsided state subsidy.
“This bill would have benefited a very limited number of apprentices in the construction industry and a small number of employers,” said John Schmitt, President/Business Manager of the Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council. “Instead of encouraging greater participation in apprenticeship programs, this legislation would have created a subsidy that discourages private investment in worker training.”
“Many trade unions, including the Wisconsin Laborers’ Apprenticeship & Training Fund, provide their own classrooms, instructors, and do not charge for traditional tuition. Our union takes great pride in self-funding our apprenticeship program through collective bargaining with our employer partners.”
“Working with our employer partners, the Wisconsin Laborers spend over $2 million annually, and Wisconsin’s building trades invest approximately $30 million as a whole in apprenticeship and training 95% of all apprentices in Wisconsin’s construction industry. We thank Governor Evers for vetoing this bill that would not have helped expand apprenticeship in the Wisconsin construction industry, and we commend the members of the Assembly and Senate who opposed this legislation.”
The Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council is an affiliation of five Laborer local unions, representing nearly 9,000 construction craft laborers throughout Wisconsin. The Laborers are the most diverse trade in the construction industry servicing employers in transportation infrastructure, building, sewer and water, utility distribution, demolition, asbestos removal, and related sectors.