ILEPI Testimony on Registered Apprenticeship Programs

On Friday, April 26, the Illinois House Labor & Commerce Committee held a subject matter hearing on “Workforce Development, Reducing Unemployment, and Improving the Economy.” Frank Manzo IV, MPP, Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) testified before the committee. Here is what he said.

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Illinois House Testimonies on the Consequences of Repealing Prevailing Wage

On Tuesday, February 27, the Labor and Commerce Committee in the Illinois House held a hearing titled “Impacts of Repealing the Prevailing Wage.” Frank Manzo IV, MPP, Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI); Robert Bruno, Ph.D., Director of the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois; and Kevin Duncan, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at Colorado State University-Pueblo submitted testimonies.

The following article provides condensed versions of those testimonies.

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NEW STUDY:  Prevailing Wage Laws Close Income Gaps for African Americans in Construction

Laws help grow incomes across the racial spectrum, and help more workers access middle class La Grange:  Prevailing wage laws reduce income inequality between African-American and white construction workers by as much as 53% and help more blue-collar workers reach … Continue reading NEW STUDY:  Prevailing Wage Laws Close Income Gaps for African Americans in Construction

A Responsible Bidder Ordinance is a Protection Plan for Taxpayers

A Responsible Bidder Ordinance (RBO) is a policy that sets minimal requirements for all contractors bidding on publicly-funded projects in a given political jurisdiction. Typically, these requirements include proof of participation in an apprenticeship training program, proof of certificates of insurance, prequalification surveys, and compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. RBOs are a qualifications-based approach to construction contracting for public entities. The policies are a kind of “insurance policy” for taxpayers. The local ordinances establish clear, objective standards that contractors must meet in order to win bids and construct projects funded using taxpayer dollars.

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The H-2B Guest Worker Program Unnecessarily Lowers Construction Worker Wages in Illinois

The H-2B program grants visas to foreign workers to become employed at U.S. employers for temporary periods of time. The H-2B program is intended to address worker shortages in unskilled occupations. Migrant workers issued an H-2B visa can be employed for up to 9 months, but their visa may be extended for up to three years. Approximately 115,000 H-2B workers are currently in the United States.

The H-2B program often lowers wages for both foreign-born workers and U.S. citizens.  Continue reading “The H-2B Guest Worker Program Unnecessarily Lowers Construction Worker Wages in Illinois”

Prevailing Wage Repeal Would Hurt Kentucky’s Economy

Repealing Kentucky’s prevailing wage law would weaken the state’s economy, according to a new study.

Eliminating prevailing wage would cause a pay cut for middle-class workers, qualify more workers for public assistance, slash apprenticeship training, and result in more of Kentucky’s tax dollars going to out-of-state or foreign contractors. Veterans, who populate construction trades at a higher rate than non-veterans, would be particularly impacted if Kentucky were to repeal its prevailing wage standards.

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