DOL Flooded with Comments Opposing IRAPs

Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Dorsey Hager made his regular appearance on America’s Work Force Radio, where he discussed Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) with AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc.

Dorsey Hager

Dorsey Hager, C/COBCTC Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Joining AWF roughly a week after the U.S. Department of Labor IRAP comment period ended, Hager reported the DOL received almost 325,000 comments in opposition of IRAPs in the construction indutry. He thanked all who commented and credited social media with making a big impact in this campaign.

Hager and Ferenc discussed how the government would be partially funding IRAPs, while the building trades use private investments to fund their training programs.

According to Hager, the state of Ohio does a great job regulating both open shop and union programs. He said the state ensures these apprenticeship programs are doing outreach, are well-run and use up-to-date curriculum.

Besides IRAPs, they also discussed the status of the Butch-Lewis Act, a bill to address the multiemployer pension crisis.

America's Workforce Radio Host Ed "Flash" Ferenc

America’s Workforce Radio Host Ed “Flash” Ferenc

The House of Representatives passed the legislation in late July, but the Senate has failed to act on the bill and there appears to be no urgency to pass it.

Hager and Ferenc discuss how the potential insolvency of several non-building trades unions multi-employer pension plans over the next two years, while members of the Senate do not have this topic on their radar.

The last topic they talked about was construction in downtown Columbus, where over $1 billion will be spent. The big project, according to Hager, is the Downtown Hilton Hotel expansion. Once this project is finished, he expects the Hyatt hotel will likely expand in order to increase to 1,000 rooms as well.

Click here to listen to the entire interview, including Hager’s thoughts on the upcoming Browns season.

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