LCPtracker Blog

California’s Skilled & Trained Workforce Requirements: Q & A with Deborah Wilder

Today we sat down with Deborah Wilder, President of Contractor Compliance & Monitoring Inc., for a quick Q & A session about California’s Skilled and Trained Workforce requirements. Deborah offers some brief insights and a teaser of what she’ll be covering in an upcoming webinar she will be hosting on the topic with LCPtracker on Nov. 12th.

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges contractors face with Skilled and Trained Workforce requirements?

A: The biggest challenges will most likely stem from a change in many contractors’ hiring procedures. If employers want to comply with the Skilled and Trained Workforce (STW) provisions, they will need to shift their recruitment tactics and standards when looking to onboard new workers. It will require more foresight and selectivity in the hiring practices, which is a challenge in and of itself since so many contractors already struggle with finding enough skilled labor.

Q: How exactly does STW affect contractors hiring practices?

A: Well, the biggest thing is determining where the employee received their training. I won’t say too much more since we will be diving deeper into that in the webinar, but this will no doubt be a critical element in the hiring decision.

Q: How are the requirements for STW different than any other prevailing wage project?  

A: Well, for starters, having to track and verify apprenticeship training and graduation is something that is not currently required on other prevailing wage projects outside the scope of Skilled and Trained.

Q: How do I know which project is going to be subject to these requirements?

A: Currently, Skilled and Trained covers school projects for K-12 and community college districts using either the Design Build or Lease-Leaseback project delivery methods. We will delve further into this on Nov. 12th.

Q: What are the chances that STW expands beyond the scope of projects it’s currently limited to? 

A: That should be a serious concern for all contractors. There is some legislation being passed around that might potentially expand it further. I can’t say how likely it is, but it should definitely be on a contractor’s radar.

Q: Are the requirements the same for a union contractor versus an open shop contractor?

A: Contractors currently working under a project labor agreement for a job that would otherwise have fallen within the scope of STW are exempt. This has actually sparked some controversy as this exemption usually benefits more union contactors. Again, this is something we will be covering more thoroughly in the webinar.

Q: Can you give us any more information on what you will be discussing?

A: Well, we’ll start by establishing an overview of the STW requirements and develop an understanding of when exactly they might apply. We realize many people might be very new to the concepts since they may not have worked on an applicable project yet. Then we’ll explore solutions and some of the best practices with how to comply with these laws. We’ll also discuss what options contractors have when they cannot meet these obligations. If anyone wants to learn more, I would really encourage people to attend the webinar as this Q&A really only scratches the surface. And even if these requirements don’t affect your projects at the moment, it’s possible they might in the future.

You can sign up to attend Deborah Wilder’s Skilled & Trained Workforce webinar on Nov. 12th at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mCQDPOwoSzyPP0q9gPHZ7A.

Deborah Wilder is a graduate of the University of California, Davis and obtained her law degree from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College, Portland Oregon. She is licensed to practice in both California and Oregon and before the U.S. Supreme Court. She is the President of Contractor Compliance and Monitoring Inc. (CCMI), a nationally recognized prevailing wage compliance consulting company. CCMI has 4 offices and provides prevailing wage assistance in over 15 states. Deborah is the author of 3 books: What Every Contractor Should Know About Prevailing Wages: AGC of America’s Davis Bacon Compliance Manual; and Davis Bacon Handbook for Public Agencies. Deborah also served on the Foster City Council for 8 years, including 2 years at the Mayor of Foster City.