City’s DOB chief opposes apprenticeship bill

Rick Chandler testified before the City Council on Tuesday
January 31, 2017 05:25PM

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rick Chandler (Credit: Getty Images)

NYC Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler is the latest member of the de Blasio administration to oppose a mandatory apprenticeship program for construction workers.

Testifying on Tuesday before the City Council, Chandler said while the program has safety components, “they are primarily focused on teaching a trade,” Crain’s reported. Instead, Chandler said the agency supports a requirement that workers take a 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Association course.

The apprenticeship bill is part of a 21-bill construction safety package that has pit union and nonunion contractors against each other. The Real Estate Board of New York opposes the bill, as does Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said there are better ways to improve construction safety.

If passed, the legislation would require state-approved training for workers involved in projects of a certain size that receive $1 million or more of government funding.

Louis Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers Association, proposed a new body to enforce construction safety. Without such enforcement, efforts to improve safety are “just empty words,” he said. [Crain’s]E.B. Solomont