You may begin to hear the term “Skilled and Trained Workforce” come up in future correspondences or conversations. What does this mean?
Skilled and Trained Workforce (“STW”) requirements are qualifications for the building and construction workforce that California law requires on certain projects.
There is no single definition of a STW that applies to all projects. Instead, each STW statute contains its own definition. The vast majority (but not all) of the STW statutes use the Skilled and Trained Workforce definition in Public Contract Code, Section 2601 which defines a Skilled and Trained Workforce as one that meets both of the following:
Requirement #1: All the workers performing work in an “apprenticeable” occupation in the building and construction trades for which the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) approved an apprenticeship program are either:
- Apprentices registered in a DAS-approved apprenticeship program, OR
- “Skilled journeypersons,” meaning the worker, in the applicable occupation, either (i) graduated from a DAS-approved apprenticeship program, or (ii) has at least as many hours of on-the-job experience as would be required to graduate from the applicable DAS-approved apprenticeship program.
Requirement #2: The Minimum Percentage Graduation Requirements satisfied. The “Minimum Percentage Graduation Requirements” means the minimum percentage of skilled journeypersons who are employed to perform work on the contract and are graduates of a DAS-approved apprenticeship program or a federally approved apprenticeship program.
Contractors and subcontractors who violate STW requirements can face civil penalties of up to $10,000 per month and debarment, i.e. being prohibited from bidding on, being awarded, or performing work on a public works contract.
What should you do to prepare a contractor to provide proof of your status? Have a copy of your proof of graduation from an apprenticeship program or hours of on-the job experience (as applicable). Individual apprentice graduation certificates may also be found online on the DIR website at https://www.dir.ca.gov/das/appcertpw/AppCertSearch.asp