Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

02/05/2020 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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Audio Topic
03:19:12 PM Start
03:20:01 PM Presentation(s): Regulations Proposed by the Department of Labor & Workforce Development
05:15:07 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Regulations Proposed by the Dept. TELECONFERENCED
of Labor & Workforce Development by Grey
Mitchell, Director, Workers' Compensation Div.
Other Invited Testimony
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                        February 5, 2020                                                                                        
                           3:19 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ivy Spohnholz, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
Representative Sara Hannan                                                                                                      
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Representative Mel Gillis                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S): REGULATIONS PROPOSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR                                                                
& WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
GREY MITCHELL, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Workers' Compensation                                                                                               
Department of Labor & Workforce Development                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented the Department of Labor &                                                                      
Workforce Development's proposed regulations and answered                                                                       
questions from the committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOSEPH KNOWLES, Deputy Director                                                                                                 
Division of Labor Standards & Safety                                                                                            
Department of Labor & Workforce Development                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Answered questions during  the presentation                                                             
on  the Department  of Labor  & Workforce  Development's proposed                                                               
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM HARLAN, Mechanical Inspection Manager                                                                                   
Division of Labor Standards & Safety                                                                                            
Department of Labor and Workforce Development                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Answered questions during  the presentation                                                             
on  the Department  of Labor  & Workforce  Development's proposed                                                               
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN HAKALA, State Director                                                                                                     
Office of Apprenticeship                                                                                                        
U.S. Department of Labor                                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:     Provided   a  PowerPoint   presentation                                                             
entitled,  "Registered Apprenticeship  and  Fitness Licensing  in                                                               
Alaska."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH KELLY, Statewide Director                                                                                               
Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Trust                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided a  PowerPoint presentation  by the                                                             
Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Trust.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
AMY NIBERT, President/CEO                                                                                                       
Associated Builders and Contractors of Alaska                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  on the  Department  of Labor  &                                                             
Workforce Development's proposed regulations.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TOM FISHER, President                                                                                                           
Aaron Plumbing and Heating Company                                                                                              
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  on the  Department  of Labor  &                                                             
Workforce Development's proposed regulations.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:19:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR IVY SPOHNHOLZ called the  House Labor and Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  3:19 p.m.  Representatives Fields,                                                               
Hannan, Story, Gillis, and Spohnholz  were present at the call to                                                               
order.   Representative  Stutes  arrived as  the  meeting was  in                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):  Regulations  Proposed  by  the  Department  of                                                               
Labor & Workforce Development                                                                                                   
PRESENTATION(S): Regulations Proposed by the Department of Labor                                                            
                    & Workforce Development                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
3:20:01 PMs                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced  that the only order  of business would                                                               
be a  presentation on regulations  proposed by the  Department of                                                               
Labor & Workforce Development (DLWD).                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:20:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GREY  MITCHELL,  Director,  Division  of  Workers'  Compensation,                                                               
Department of  Labor & Workforce  Development, noted that  he has                                                               
worked for  the DLWD for  28 years.   Within the  department, his                                                               
work experience  extends to the Division  of Employment Security,                                                               
the Division  of Labor  Standards and Safety,  the Wage  and Hour                                                               
Office, and the Division of Workers' Compensation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:21:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOSEPH KNOWLES,  Deputy Director,  Division of Labor  Standards &                                                               
Safety, Department  of Labor & Workforce  Development, introduced                                                               
himself  and gave  a brief  description of  his work  experience,                                                               
which includes  the Division of Employment  Training Services and                                                               
the Division of  Labor Standards and Safety, DLWD.   He is also a                                                               
military veteran.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:22:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL  said  there  has  been  a  lot  of  confusion  and                                                               
misinformation about the proposed  regulations and he appreciates                                                               
the opportunity to provide clarification.   He noted that much of                                                               
the regulation  package includes routine  code updates.   Many of                                                               
the public comments, he said,  indicate that people may have some                                                               
misconceptions  about the  goal  of the  regulations and  believe                                                               
they  aim  to  eliminate apprenticeship  requirements  or  reduce                                                               
workplace  safety and  health standards  - neither  of which,  he                                                               
said,  are accurate.   Registered  apprenticeship  will still  be                                                               
mandatory to  qualify for  the journeyman,  plumber, electrician,                                                               
or  lineman exam  after  8,000  hours of  work  experience.   The                                                               
proposal will allow for an  alternate pathway for businesses that                                                               
don't want  to use  the registered  apprenticeship model  and for                                                               
individual  Alaskans  who either  can't  get  into an  apprentice                                                               
program or  aren't interested in  that kind of  training program.                                                               
The  alternate pathway  will require  12,000 hours  of documented                                                               
work  experience  performing  work  subject  to  code  in  before                                                               
trainees are  qualified to sit for  the exam.  The  proposal does                                                               
not change the  minimum ratios of journeyman  to apprentices that                                                               
have been  on the books for  decades.  The proposal  also doesn't                                                               
change occupational  safety and  health standards  that employers                                                               
must comply  with to  maintain safe and  healthy workplaces.   He                                                               
stated that the  department's goal in creating  this proposal was                                                               
simple:  to increase  training and  employment opportunities  for                                                               
individual  Alaskans and  give employers  more  options to  train                                                               
their  future  workforce.   He  went  on  to say  that  federally                                                               
registered apprenticeship is  extremely competitive, leaving many                                                               
Alaskans left  out.  Furthermore,  he argued that  some employers                                                               
don't want  the federal government  dictating how to  train their                                                               
workforce.  He offered his  belief that an alternate pathway will                                                               
provide opportunities  for smaller  businesses in rural  areas to                                                               
provide  trainees  an  opportunity   to  learn  the  plumbing  or                                                               
electrical trade.   These local  trainees are likely to  stay and                                                               
provide services in  that community for years to come.   He noted                                                               
that the DLWD is not  disputing that registered apprenticeship is                                                               
a  great training  tool; however,  it's not  a good  fit for  all                                                               
businesses  or all  Alaskans.   As  a result  of the  restrictive                                                               
regulations that only allow  training through federally regulated                                                               
apprenticeship,  many employers  don't  participate in  workforce                                                               
training in  these categories, he  said.  He reported  that there                                                               
is  a  growing shortage  of  trade  workers across  the  country.                                                               
According  to  the  U.S.  Bureau  of  Labor  Statistics  and  the                                                               
National Electrical  Contractors Association,  7,000 electricians                                                               
join the trade  every year while 10,000 retire, leaving  a gap in                                                               
the numbers.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:26:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked for the statistics in Alaska.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL said he only has the national numbers.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLS noted  that because Alaska's economy  tends to be                                                               
countercyclical  to  the  rest  of  the  country,  it  should  be                                                               
important to have those numbers.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL  reported  that  the  BLS  [U.S.  Bureau  of  Labor                                                               
Statistics] projects faster than  average job growth for plumbers                                                               
and electricians.   He said  they want to  increase opportunities                                                               
and empower Alaska businesses with  choices for how to best train                                                               
their  future   workers  in  on-the-job  training   (OJT).    The                                                               
department also intended  on increasing educational opportunities                                                               
for  Alaskans  to  receive real  world  hands-on  electrical  and                                                               
plumbing training  in programs  like Alaska  Vocational Technical                                                               
Center  (AVTEC);  however, due  to  the  public's comments,  they                                                               
reevaluated the proposal and reworked sections of it.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:28:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  inquired as to which  communities and what                                                               
types  of  businesses  expressed   interest  in  an  "alternative                                                               
pathway" for trainees.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL  replied he  can't  give  specific details  on  the                                                               
numbers.   Anecdotally, he  said, there are  a lot  of businesses                                                               
that want to have an  internal training program where the federal                                                               
government  isn't  looking  over  their  shoulder  while  they're                                                               
training their workforce.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:30:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.   MITCHELL   responding   to  a   follow-up   question   from                                                               
Representative Hannan,  said he  was referring  to the  Office of                                                               
Apprenticeship and  Training, not  OSHA [Occupational  Safety and                                                               
Health   Administration],   when   he   mentioned   the   federal                                                               
government.   He  maintained that  any contractor  trying to  get                                                               
electrical or plumbing work done  would acknowledge that there is                                                               
a shortage.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  if Mr.  Mitchell is  asserting that                                                               
plumbing  and   electrical  contractors  have  an   even  greater                                                               
shortage than any other trade or licensed profession in Alaska.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL said electrical and  plumbing are the two categories                                                               
of  building  trades  that  mandate  enrollment  in  a  federally                                                               
registered apprenticeship program.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:33:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS recounted  working with  Mr. Mitchell  and                                                               
Mr. Knowles,  as well as  other DLWD staff  members.  He  said he                                                               
enjoyed every  moment of it  and thanked  them for the  work they                                                               
have  done.    He  asked   how  many  apprenticeship  specialists                                                               
currently work  in the department and  if they still work  at job                                                               
centers throughout the state.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:33:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNOWLES offered his belief  that the concept being referenced                                                               
is still in place.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS asked  for Mr.  Knowles' approximation  of                                                               
the number of employers of  state apprenticeship specialists that                                                               
have  worked  with  the  U.S.   Department  of  Labor  to  expand                                                               
apprenticeship  in communities  beyond  Southcentral [Alaska]  in                                                               
the recent past.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNOWLES explained that when  he worked there, the job centers                                                               
had    business    connection   specialists    and    independent                                                               
apprenticeship specialists  to help  administer grants  for those                                                               
who were eligible.  He said  that by his estimation, the majority                                                               
of job centers  have those technicians and will  work through the                                                               
technology and referral process for the centers that don't.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FIELDS   said   the  department   helped   start                                                               
apprenticeship programs  for many rural community  health centers                                                               
when he  worked there.   He noted  that he is  happy to  see that                                                               
capacity still  exists for construction employers  throughout the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:35:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL  turned attention to  the proposed regulations.   He                                                               
sought clarification  on whether  he should summarize  the entire                                                               
package or focus on registered apprenticeship.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  instructed him  to focus  on the  part regarding                                                               
registered apprenticeship because of its controversy.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL  explained that there  were several sections  of the                                                               
regulation package  that addressed  updating various  elements of                                                               
the  codes.   For  that  reason, he  said,  it  was difficult  to                                                               
ascertain  how to  classify some  of the  [public] comments  they                                                               
received.   He  alleged that  there  was confusion  in trying  to                                                               
determine how the comments applied to the regulations.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ  interjected  and  pointed out  that  there  are                                                               
numerous comments  that are classified as  unclear; however, "the                                                               
own department's summary  of the comments - they  seem very clear                                                               
to me,"  she said.  She  proceeded to read several  comments that                                                               
were  classified as  "unclear,"  adding that  she disagrees  with                                                               
that classification because of its inaccuracy.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:38:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL  responded to  the  public  comment that  mentioned                                                               
opposition to  ending apprenticeship.   He said it  is classified                                                               
as  unclear   because  the  regulations  don't   propose  to  end                                                               
apprenticeship.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ stated that the  department is creating a pathway                                                               
around apprenticeship  that requires  little to  no documentation                                                               
and little  to no  standards, which sounds  like a  workaround to                                                               
apprenticeship.  She reiterated  that classifying the comments as                                                               
being unclear about their position is a mischaracterization.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL  resumed his presentation and  directed attention to                                                               
pages 15-16 of  the proposed regulation package  [included in the                                                               
committee  packet].   He said  8 AAC  90.130 [plumber  journeyman                                                               
certificate of  fitness] still requires  the applicant  to submit                                                               
documented  proof that  he or  she obtained  8,000 hours  of work                                                               
experience  in   a  federally  registered  apprenticeship.     He                                                               
emphasized that  the department is creating  an alternate pathway                                                               
- not  eliminating apprenticeships  - that requires  12,000 hours                                                               
of on-the-job work  experience that is subject  to the applicable                                                               
code.      He  noted  that  under  this  alternate  pathway,  the                                                               
applicant  would  also  still  need  to  pass  the  comprehensive                                                               
examination  for  electricians,  plumbers,  or  lineman  to  gain                                                               
access to  his or her certificate  of fitness.  He  further noted                                                               
that current  regulations are effectively  putting Alaskans  at a                                                               
disadvantage to  people coming from  other states who  qualify to                                                               
sit for the [comprehensive] examination  after 8,000 hours of on-                                                               
the-job  training.    The   proposed  regulations  would  require                                                               
nonresidents  to  have  the  same   12,000  hours  of  on-the-job                                                               
experience  if  they  didn't  gain  their  experience  through  a                                                               
registered   apprenticeship  program.     He   said  this   would                                                               
effectively  level   the  playing  field  between   Alaskans  and                                                               
residents of  the 37 other  states that don't  require registered                                                               
apprenticeship in  order to  gain training  in the  electrical or                                                               
plumbing  industry.   He  reiterated  that  the proposal  doesn't                                                               
change  or  eliminate  federally registered  apprenticeships  for                                                               
plumbers  and  electricians.    On  the  contrary,  he  said,  it                                                               
maintains it for  8,000 hours of work experience.   He added that                                                               
the proposed  regulations do not  change any  occupational safety                                                               
and health standards.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:44:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ asked,  on average,  how many  nonresidents move                                                               
here  to  take the  exam  with  8,000  hours of  experience  from                                                               
somewhere other than a registered apprenticeship program.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL said  he does  not have  the specific  numbers, but                                                               
it's an open opportunity.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:44:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM HARLAN, Mechanical Inspection  Manager, Division of Labor                                                               
Standards   &  Safety,   Department   of   Labor  and   Workforce                                                               
Development, said stats are not  easily available because they do                                                               
not track  the sourcing  of applicants  on a  regular basis.   He                                                               
said  that   information  would   require  a  manual   search  of                                                               
applications through a given time range.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ  said  she  finds   it  odd  to  cite  something                                                               
anecdotally as evidence without the numbers to back it up.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:45:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  offered his  understanding that  the state                                                               
of Washington requires completion  of a registered apprenticeship                                                               
to take the exam, which is  a stronger regulation than in Alaska.                                                               
He  asked  how  many  states   beyond  Washington  have  stronger                                                               
regulations than Alaska.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.   MITCHELL  acknowledged   that  Alaska   does  not   require                                                               
completion of the registered  apprenticeship program, which could                                                               
result  in  someone getting  8,000  hours  of experience  without                                                               
completing the  related course instruction  or other  elements of                                                               
the apprenticeship.  As long as  the 8,000 hours were gained in a                                                               
registered   apprenticeship,  that   alone  would   qualify  that                                                               
individual in the state of Alaska.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HARLAN, in  response to  Representative Fields,  offered his                                                               
belief that  the majority of  states that  require apprenticeship                                                               
require  completion  of   the  entire  registered  apprenticeship                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:47:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL  returned  to  his  presentation.    Regarding  the                                                               
plumber   journeyman  certificate   of   fitness,  the   proposed                                                               
regulations maintain  the current  ratio of  two trainees  to one                                                               
journeyman.   He  noted that  the proposed  regulations will  not                                                               
limit  a  trainee  in  the alternate  pathway  from  engaging  in                                                               
accredited  classroom training  to help  them acquire  the 12,000                                                               
hours of experience.  It's  intended that the 12,000-hour program                                                               
would involve some self-directed classroom training.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL turned  attention to  pages 16-19  of the  proposed                                                               
regulations, 8  AAC 90.137 [plumber restricted  PU certificate of                                                               
fitness].    He explained  that  this  section would  remove  the                                                               
examination requirement  for a  plumber utility  (PU) certificate                                                               
of  fitness.   This change  was made  with input  from PU  worker                                                               
representatives  in the  labor  union who  consider  the exam  an                                                               
unnecessary  barrier   to  licensure  because  it   doesn't  test                                                               
knowledge and  code.   Mr. Mitchell  directed attention  to pages                                                               
18-19,  8 AAC  90.140 [plumber  trainee certificate  of fitness].                                                               
He noted that  this is the restriction that  limits Alaskans from                                                               
receiving  any training  in the  plumbing trade  unless they  are                                                               
enrolled  in  a  federally recognized  registered  apprenticeship                                                               
program.  This  section of the proposal also  repeals a reference                                                               
to  the on-the-job  training option  to document  work experience                                                               
that  existed   prior  to   2003  and   was  repealed   in  2006.                                                               
Furthermore,  it removes  the requirements  that  a trainee  must                                                               
surrender  his  or  her  trainee  certificate  of  fitness  after                                                               
failing  to be  continuously enrolled  in a  federally registered                                                               
apprenticeship program.  Finally,  this section would establish a                                                               
standard  to allow  for the  department  to reciprocate  plumbing                                                               
certificate  of fitness  licenses under  limited conditions  with                                                               
another state  when the licensure requirements  are substantially                                                               
similar to Alaska's.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:52:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  how  many  states have  regulations                                                               
that are similar to Alaska's.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL said the initial research indicates about 13.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  asked  if   those  13  states  also  have                                                               
registered apprenticeship programs.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL confirmed that.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:52:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.   HARLAN  added   that  because   Alaska  does   not  require                                                               
apprenticeship  completion, it  is not  included as  a qualifying                                                               
factor  in   this  state's  reciprocal  agreements.     Regarding                                                               
plumbing,  as long  as a  state requires  completed hours  and an                                                               
exam, Alaska  would consider  exploring reciprocation  with those                                                               
states.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  stated she  would still  like to  know the                                                               
numbers.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ agreed  and asked Mr. Mitchell to  follow up with                                                               
an answer.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL  invited  Mr.  Harlan  to  explain  the  reciprocal                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HARLAN summarized  reciprocity and  how it  works.   He said                                                               
Alaska is a  member of an informal group of  states, the National                                                               
Electrical    Reciprocal    Alliance   (NERA),    with    similar                                                               
requirements.    The  group  meets annually  to  ensure  all  its                                                               
members'   standards  are   consistent  enough   for  agreements.                                                               
Between those  states that find substantial  compliance with each                                                               
other's  licensure requirements,  written agreements  are drafted                                                               
and then undergo a review  process through the states' respective                                                               
departments of law.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  inquired as  to the  number of  members in                                                               
the NERA.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARLAN answered 17 member states  and of those 17, Alaska has                                                               
a reciprocal agreement with 11 of them.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:56:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL   directed  attention  to  section   8  AAC  90.160                                                               
[electrician journeyman certificate of  fitness].  He paraphrased                                                               
the following from the document  entitled, "2019-2020 Proposed MI                                                               
Regulations Explained" [included in the committee packet]:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     11. 8 AAC 90.160  Electrician Journeyman Certificate of                                                                  
     Fitness P. 19-21 (repeal/readopt)                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     ?  This proposal  is almost  identical  to the  changes                                                                    
     that were  made to  the plumber certificate  of fitness                                                                    
     regulation under 8 AAC 90.130.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     ? The proposal maintains  the mandatory requirement for                                                                    
     federally   registered  apprenticeship   in  order   to                                                                    
     qualify to  take the  electrician journeyman  exam with                                                                    
     8,000 hours of electrical code work experience.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     ? The  proposal establishes an alternate  pathway for a                                                                    
     trainee  to  acquire  work experience  subject  to  the                                                                    
     National Electrical Code without  being indentured in a                                                                    
     federally recognized  apprentice program.  After 12,000                                                                    
     hours of documented  experience performing work subject                                                                    
     to the  National Electrical Code as  a licensed trainee                                                                    
     under  the   supervision  of  a   qualified  journeyman                                                                    
     electrician,   working   for  a   licensed   electrical                                                                    
     contractor under  the oversight of a  properly licensed                                                                    
     electrical administrator, the  trainee would qualify to                                                                    
     take the electrician journeyman exam.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ? The proposal  puts Alaskans on an  equal footing with                                                                    
     trainees  working  in  other   states  who  can  obtain                                                                    
     electrical code work  experience without being enrolled                                                                    
     in  a federally  registered apprenticeship  program and                                                                    
     currently  can use  that experience  to meet  the 8,000                                                                    
     hours   of  experience   necessary  to   sit  for   the                                                                    
     electrical journeyman exam.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     ?  The   proposal  also  clarifies  that   the  current                                                                    
     limitation that  only up to  2,000 hours  of electrical                                                                    
     code work experience  doing residential electrical work                                                                    
     would count toward the 12,000  hours of work experience                                                                    
     required to qualify to take the journeyman exam.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     ?  This proposal  also contained  a clarification  that                                                                    
     hours   obtained  through   the  proposed   educational                                                                    
     trainee  certificate  of  fitness under  8  AAC  90.300                                                                    
     would count  toward up to  1,000 hours of  the required                                                                    
     experience. However, the department  has decided not to                                                                    
     move forward  with the educational  trainee certificate                                                                    
     of fitness.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ  sought  clarification   on  which  section  the                                                               
department would not be advancing.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL replied  8  AAC 90.300,  which  would have  allowed                                                               
experience  gained  through  a  student  training  program,  like                                                               
Alaska Vocational  Technical Center (AVTEC), to  count toward the                                                               
1,000  hours of  required  experience.   He  reiterated that  the                                                               
department decided not to move forward with it.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:59:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  asked if she  was missing an  amendment to                                                               
the proposed regulations.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL  explained that the department's  regulation process                                                               
is different than the legislative process.   He said there is not                                                               
a procedure to provide "on-the-fly"  changes.  He reiterated that                                                               
Commissioner Ledbetter has decided against moving forward with                                                                  
the aforementioned provision.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN again, sought clarification the part of                                                                   
the document being referenced.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL said on page 20 of the proposed regulation package,                                                                
subparagraph (D) would be stricken.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:00:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL  continued his presentation, directing  attention to                                                               
section  8 AAC  90.162 [power  lineman journeyman  certificate of                                                               
fitness].   He  paraphrased the  following [original  punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     12. 8  AAC 90.162 Power Lineman  Journeyman Certificate                                                                  
     of Fitness P. 21-22 (repeal/readopt)                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ?  This section  proposed to  eliminate the  electrical                                                                    
     lineman exam.  However, the department has  decided not                                                                    
     to move  forward with this  element of the  proposal. ?                                                                    
     This  proposal establishes  the same  alternate pathway                                                                    
     to obtain outside line  electrical code work experience                                                                    
     outside  of   a  federally   registered  apprenticeship                                                                    
     program.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     ?  The  proposal  maintains   the  requirement  that  a                                                                    
     trainee  must be  enrolled  in  a federally  registered                                                                    
     apprenticeship program in order  to qualify to take the                                                                    
     journeyman exam at 8,000 hours of work experience.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     ? The  proposal establishes an alternate  pathway for a                                                                    
     trainee  to  acquire  work experience  subject  to  the                                                                    
     National   Electrical   Safety   Code   without   being                                                                    
     indentured   in  a   federally  recognized   apprentice                                                                    
     program.  After 12,000  hours of  documented experience                                                                    
     performing  work  subject  to the  National  Electrical                                                                    
     Safety   Code  as   a   licensed   trainee  under   the                                                                    
     supervision of a  qualified journeyman lineman, working                                                                    
     for   a  licensed   electrical  contractor   under  the                                                                    
     oversight   of    a   properly    licensed   electrical                                                                    
     administrator, the  trainee would  qualify to  take the                                                                    
     journeyman lineman exam.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     ? This proposal also  intended to allow credit transfer                                                                    
     for hours enrolled in  the proposed educational trainee                                                                    
     certificate of  fitness program for up  to 1,000 hours.                                                                    
     However, the  department is not  moving ahead  with the                                                                    
     educational/student trainee  certificate of  fitness at                                                                    
     this time.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:03:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HANNAN  pointed   out  that   in  the   proposed                                                               
regulations there isn't a reference to the exam.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL  explained that it  was deleted in the  proposal but                                                               
will be added back.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked Mr. Mitchell to  follow up with an email or                                                               
letter for clarity that summarizes  which parts of the regulation                                                               
package  will  be  advanced  and  which will  be  removed.    She                                                               
indicated that the current document is not clear.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:04:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS suggested that  the department consider re-                                                               
advertising the updated proposal.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL, in  response to Chair Spohnholz,  said it's awkward                                                               
because  the regulation  package is  still being  evaluated.   He                                                               
added  that he  can speak  to what  decisions have  been made  to                                                               
date; however,  it's still not a  final decision, which is  up to                                                               
the commissioner.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ said  even so,  it's fair  that the  legislature                                                               
understands what is  being proposed.  She  reemphasized that from                                                               
the committee's perspective, it's difficult to follow.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL said  that was the intention of  this presentation -                                                               
to provide a  basic understanding of what  the regulation package                                                               
proposes  to  do.    He  agreed  to  follow  up  with  an  update                                                               
containing changes  that have been  approved by  the commissioner                                                               
to date.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:06:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  said  this   bill  hearing  seems  to  be                                                               
premature.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  clarified that this is  an informational hearing                                                               
on a regulation package that  the Department of Labor & Workforce                                                               
Development has proposed.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  maintained that the presentation  seems to                                                               
be premature and confusing.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:07:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS sought  clarification  on the  12,000-hour                                                               
OJT  [on-the-job training]  pathway.   He asked  for confirmation                                                               
that, unlike a registered apprenticeship,  there won't be a state                                                               
or federal  department monitoring  how many hours  were completed                                                               
doing  different tasks,  and whether  those hours  were completed                                                               
under the  supervision of a journeyman,  as well as what  kind of                                                               
training standards were in place during  those hours.  He said he                                                               
assumed the state  DLWD would not be  independently verifying all                                                               
of that for the 12,000-hour OJT pathway.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL affirmed  that, adding that this is  not designed to                                                               
be the same training mechanism as registered apprenticeship.                                                                    
It  is  designed  to  be  a different  pathway  that  allows  for                                                               
employers  to  control how  they  train  their future  workforce.                                                               
Nonetheless, the law does require  trainees in the electrical and                                                               
plumbing  categories to  be licensed,  supervised  by a  licensed                                                               
journeyman, and work for a  licensed electrical contractor that's                                                               
overseen by a licensed administrator.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:09:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  sought  clarification  on  the  alternate                                                               
pathway's requirement  of "documented  proof on a  notarized form                                                               
provided  by   the  department  or   a  notarized   statement  on                                                               
letterhead  stationery  from  an employer"  to  authenticate  the                                                               
12,000 hours.  She asked if  in theory, she could submit a letter                                                               
that  verifies  her 12,000  hours  completed  at "Joe's  Licensed                                                               
Electrical" and that would be sufficient.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL  explained that under  current regulations,  that is                                                               
the correct procedure  for someone from a different  state.  That                                                               
individual  would provide  a sworn  affidavit  from the  employer                                                               
that supervised  his or her  work.   Mr. Mitchell added  that the                                                               
alternate  pathway  will use  that  same  standard, provided  the                                                               
required  hours  will  be  increased from  8,000  to  12,000  for                                                               
Alaskans and out-of-state individuals.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  asked how long 12,000  hours of supervised                                                               
work should take.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL replied 12,000 hours  of work experience is expected                                                               
to  take  6-7  years.    He  said  registered  apprenticeship  is                                                               
typically   a   4-5-year   term  and   has   same   documentation                                                               
requirements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  if the  documented verification  is                                                               
just one piece of paper at the completion of 12,000 hours.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL  said that is  essentially correct for  a registered                                                               
apprenticeship or otherwise.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:14:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  questioned  whether the  12,000-hour  OJT                                                               
pathway was requested by a business.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL said no.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:14:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL  resumed his  presentation at  section 8  AAC 90.165                                                               
[electrician and  power lineman trainee certificate  of fitness].                                                               
He paraphrased the following:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     13. 8 AAC 90.165  Electrician and Power Lineman Trainee                                                                  
     Cert. of Fitness P 23- (repeal/readopt)                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     ? This proposal removes  the restriction that currently                                                                    
     limits  Alaskans from  receiving  ANY  training in  the                                                                    
     electrical  trade   unless  they  are  enrolled   in  a                                                                    
     federally    controlled    registered    apprenticeship                                                                    
     program.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     ?  It  also  repeals  a  reference  to  the  on-the-job                                                                    
     training option to document  work experience subject to                                                                    
     the    code    outside    of    federally    registered                                                                    
     apprenticeship that existed prior to 2003.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     ? This proposal removed language that allows                                                                               
          1.  a  journeyman  power  lineman  to  work  as  a                                                                    
          trainee  performing work  subject to  the National                                                                    
          Electrical Code;                                                                                                      
          2. A  journeyman residential wireman to  work as a                                                                    
          trainee  performing work  subject to  the National                                                                    
          Electrical Safety Code  or the National Electrical                                                                    
          Code beyond the scope of residential work; and                                                                        
          3. A  journeyman electrician to work  as a trainee                                                                    
          performing   work   subject    to   the   National                                                                    
          Electrical Safety Code.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     These provisions were removed  to clarify that a person                                                                    
     should be  engaged in a  training program whether  as a                                                                    
     registered   apprentice   or  through   an   on-the-job                                                                    
     training program to  work as a trainee  in another area                                                                    
     of  the   code.  It's   designed  to   expand  training                                                                    
     opportunities rather than  using licensed journeymen in                                                                    
     other  license categories  to perform  the work  of the                                                                    
     trainee.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     ?  This proposal  also removes  the requirement  that a                                                                    
     trainee  must surrender  their  trainee certificate  of                                                                    
     fitness if they  fail to be continuously  enrolled in a                                                                    
     federally registered apprenticeship program.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     14.  8  AAC  90.300   Student  Trainee  Certificate  of                                                                  
     Fitness P. 24-25 (new subsection)                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The  Department   is  not  moving  forward   with  this                                                                    
     proposal.  It  was  designed to  allow  an  educational                                                                    
     program like AVTEC to have  students perform some real-                                                                    
     world  training under  the  supervision  of a  licensed                                                                    
     journeyman.  The proposed  10:1  ratio  of trainees  to                                                                    
     instructors was  very controversial and  the department                                                                    
     plans  to  get  additional  input  through  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Workforce  Investment   Board  before   taking  further                                                                    
     action on this proposal.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     15. 8 AAC 90.900 Definitions P. 26-27 (repeal/readopt)                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     ?  This proposal  updates  the name  of  the Office  of                                                                    
     Apprenticeship and Training. It  hasn't been the Bureau                                                                    
     of Apprenticeship and Training for years.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     ?   This   proposal   establishes   a   definition   of                                                                    
     "electrical  wiring"  (paragraph  10) to  clarify  that                                                                    
     certain work  activities do  not require  an electrical                                                                    
     certificate of fitness license,  such as operating tree                                                                    
     trimming  equipment, flying  a helicopter  or operating                                                                    
     heavy power equipment. This is  current policy based on                                                                    
     long-standing  guidance  from  the  Attorney  General's                                                                    
     Office.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     ? This proposal establishes  a definition of "plumbing"                                                                    
     (paragraph 16) to clarify  that certain work activities                                                                    
     do  not  require  a  plumbing  certificate  of  fitness                                                                    
     license, such as operating heavy power equipment.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:19:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS  urged the  department to  re-advertise for                                                               
public comment  with the  regulations they  intend to  go forward                                                               
with.  He  sought clarification on the  department's reference to                                                               
AWIB [Alaska Workforce Investment  Board]; specifically, how they                                                               
envision working  with AWIB  and how they  would ensure  that the                                                               
stakeholders  are  being  adequately  consulted  on  the  updated                                                               
version of the regulations.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL said  that is  to  be determined,  adding that  the                                                               
commissioner is  contemplating how to  involve AWIB.   He pointed                                                               
out that  there are  a variety of  interests represented  on that                                                               
board and they  take the lead on  workforce training initiatives.                                                               
He  surmised  that the  goal  of  that  interaction would  be  to                                                               
improve the  proposal that would  allow for people to  be trained                                                               
as students in electrical and  plumbing work and establish better                                                               
standards for that.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:21:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ inquired  as to the kind  of community engagement                                                               
that  was  involved  in  the  development  of  this  [regulation]                                                               
package.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. MITCHELL said  they had a variety  of different conversations                                                               
with contractors and  groups.  He noted that they  did not have a                                                               
stakeholder meeting.   Many of  these adjustments, he  said, were                                                               
things that  staff had  heard from  the public  over a  number of                                                               
years.  He  addressed the 350-plus public  comments they received                                                               
from December  4, 2019, through  January 13, 2020, which  he said                                                               
are still being considered.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  opined that involving stakeholders  on the front                                                               
end of developing an idea prevents problems on the backend.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:23:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES asked  if she had heard  correctly that the                                                               
stakeholders were not involved.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL clarified  that he  said there  was no  stakeholder                                                               
meeting.    He alleged  that  they  did have  conversations  with                                                               
various stakeholders regarding the proposed regulations.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES said it seems  inconceivable that there was                                                               
no  stakeholder  meeting  as  they  are  the  user  group.    She                                                               
continued  by  reiterating  her  surprise  that  they  failed  to                                                               
include  one  of  the  most important  groups  in  forming  these                                                               
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITCHELL stated  that there  is  not a  mandate requiring  a                                                               
stakeholder meeting for every regulation  package.  He noted that                                                               
the  current administration  has reevaluated  and revived  a 2013                                                               
administrative  order to  guarantee  that  moving forward,  those                                                               
kinds of  meetings will happen.   He pointed out that  there were                                                               
numerous proposals over the past  years that had zero stakeholder                                                               
meetings.    He  maintained  that   the  department  had  routine                                                               
discussions  with groups  that were  involved  with the  proposal                                                               
because the  department recognized there would  be concerns about                                                               
this alternate pathway.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES suggested that  the outcome would have been                                                               
more successful had they consulted with the user group.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:26:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  HAKALA,  State  Director, Office  of  Apprenticeship,  U.S.                                                               
Department   of  Labor,   provided   a  PowerPoint   presentation                                                               
entitled,  "Registered Apprenticeship  and  Fitness Licensing  in                                                               
Alaska."  Mr. Hakala stated  that his presentation will show that                                                               
the registered apprenticeship system  produces highly skilled and                                                               
qualified  license holders  in Alaska  with significant  economic                                                               
and  social benefits.    He  went on  to  say  that the  proposed                                                               
12,000-hour pathway  to licensure is  not a training  program and                                                               
does not level  the playing field.   Registered apprenticeship is                                                               
available  to  any properly  licensed  contractor;  in fact,  the                                                               
majority  of  program  sponsors in  Alaska  are  single  employer                                                               
programs  with fewer  than five  apprentices.   He said  the U.S.                                                               
Office   of   Apprenticeship   works  closely   with   mechanical                                                               
inspection staff  and program  sponsors to  verify apprenticeship                                                               
registrations and work  hours.  To make it  simple and manageable                                                               
for  everyone,  he  suggested  requiring   the  12,000  hours  of                                                               
documented work experience for  out-of-state individuals who want                                                               
to  apply for  an Alaska  license if  they have  not completed  a                                                               
state  or  federally  registered   apprenticeship  program.    He                                                               
pointed out that  his office has requested two  changes that have                                                               
been  repeatedly  labeled  as "too  controversial."    First,  to                                                               
require the  completion of  a registered  apprenticeship program.                                                               
And  second,  to  change  the  2:1 licensing  ratio  to  the  1:1                                                               
apprenticeship to journeyman ratio, which  is the only ratio that                                                               
the   U.S.  Office   of  Apprenticeship   can  approve   for  the                                                               
construction  occupations.   He read  the following  on slide  2,                                                               
titled "Registered Apprenticeship":                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Registered  apprenticeship  is based  on  structured                                                                    
     training standards  that include  supervised on-the-job                                                                    
     learning (OJL).                                                                                                            
     ?  Apprentices are  paid  employees  and must  complete                                                                    
     related technical  instruction courses  that supplement                                                                    
     the OJL process.                                                                                                           
     ?   Wage   advancements   are   based   on   successful                                                                    
     performance   on-the-job   and   with   their   related                                                                    
     instruction progress.                                                                                                      
        Registered  apprenticeship  is  a  proven  workforce                                                                    
     development  strategy  that supports  local  economies,                                                                    
     builds worker  skills, and establishes  career pathways                                                                    
     to higher levels of employment and wages.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.   HAKALA  continued   with   slide   3,  titled   "Registered                                                               
Apprenticeship in Alaska," and read:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Registered   apprenticeships  in   the  construction                                                                    
     trades have been active in Alaska since the 1940's.                                                                        
     ? Registered apprenticeships  in Alaska currently train                                                                    
     union and  non-union apprentices  in 13  industries, 73                                                                    
     occupations, and in 21 borough/census areas.                                                                               
     ?  Hundreds of  millions of  private dollars  have been                                                                    
     invested  in  apprentices and  apprenticeship  training                                                                    
     centers across the state.                                                                                                  
     ?  879 Alaskan  construction  employers participate  in                                                                    
     the registered apprenticeship system.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:30:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  asked  how  an  apprenticeship  based  in                                                               
Anchorage also operates and employs local people in rural areas.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAKALA  said  Representative  Fields  is  referring  to  the                                                               
"multi-employer  structures,"  which  have some  efficiencies  in                                                               
them.    Multi-employer  structures recruit,  higher,  and  train                                                               
apprentices from  throughout the  state, including  rural Alaska,                                                               
through active recruitment.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. HAKALA directed attention to slide 4, titled "Registered                                                                    
Apprenticeship Outcomes," and read the following [original                                                                      
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Benefits for Job Seekers                                                                                                 
       Earn and learn                                                                                                           
     ? Career pathways to higher skills and wages                                                                               
     ?  Nationally-recognized credentials  and potential  to                                                                    
     earn college credit                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Benefits for Employers                                                                                                   
     ?  Develop highly-skilled  workers through  a flexible,                                                                    
     customized training approach                                                                                               
     ? Reduce  turnover, increase productivity,  and improve                                                                    
     the bottom line                                                                                                            
     ?   Transfer  of   knowledge,  skills   and  expertise,                                                                    
     improved quality  of services  & client  care, develops                                                                    
     future leadership                                                                                                          
     ?  Standards  of  Apprenticeship: 1-2  week  turnaround                                                                    
     from completed application  to program registration for                                                                    
     single-employer programs                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. HAKALA turned to slide 5, titled "Registered Apprenticeship                                                                 
Outcomes," and read the following:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Economic and Social Benefits for Alaska                                                                                  
     Aligns  with and  advances the  goals of  key workforce                                                                    
     system initiatives                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Stabilizes the Alaskan Economy                                                                                           
     ? Learn and train locally                                                                                                  
     ? Increase supply of highly skilled Alaskans                                                                               
     ? Reduce recruitment of out of state workers                                                                               
     ? Career and business opportunities                                                                                        
     ?   Apprentices  who   complete   their  program   earn                                                                    
     approximately  $300,000  more  over their  career  than                                                                    
     non-apprenticeship workers.                                                                                                
     ?  Employed apprentices  raise  families, and  purchase                                                                    
     goods, services, vehicles, and homes in Alaska                                                                             
     ? Future business leaders                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. HAKALA continued with slide 6, titled "Alaska Apprenticeship                                                                
Programs," and read the following:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Total Active  Program Sponsors  (all occupations)  =                                                                    
     329                                                                                                                        
     ?  Construction  Program Sponsors  =  206  (63% of  all                                                                    
     occupations)                                                                                                               
     ?   Electrical  Program   Sponsors   =   103  (50%   of                                                                    
     construction sponsors)                                                                                                     
     ? Plumber  Program Sponsors =  88 (43%  of construction                                                                    
     sponsors)                                                                                                                  
     ? Total Construction Employers Participating = 879                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAKALA  directed  attention   to  slide  7,  titled  "Alaska                                                               
Apprentices," and read the following:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     ? Total Active Apprentices (all occupations) = 1978                                                                        
     ? Active  Construction Apprentices  = 1672 (84%  of all                                                                    
     active apprentices)                                                                                                        
     ?  Electrical Apprentices  = 828  (49% of  construction                                                                    
     apprentices)                                                                                                               
     ?   Plumber/Pipefitter  Apprentices   =  341   (20%  of                                                                    
     construction apprentices)                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Apprenticeship  Completions: October  2003 to  February                                                                  
     4, 2020                                                                                                                  
     ? Plumber/Pipefitter = 526                                                                                                 
     ? Electrical = 1200                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAKALA   noted  that  completing  an   apprenticeship  is  a                                                               
significant life (indisc.) event.   Regarding wages, the proposed                                                               
12,000-hour pathway finishes last.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:37:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked Mr. Hakala to repeat his last statement.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HAKALA  restated  that with  Alaska's  1,726  apprenticeship                                                               
completions  from  October  2003  through  February  2020,  those                                                               
workers have the  potential to earn $517,800,000  more over their                                                               
career  than non-apprenticeship  workers.   He restated  that the                                                               
12,000-hour pathway finishes last in terms of wages.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. HAKALA resumed  his presentation with a chart  on slides 8-9,                                                               
titled "Comparison  of 8,000 Hour  Apprenticeship to  12,000 Hour                                                               
On-The-Job Training (OJT) License."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ   thanked  Mr.   Hakala  for   the  side-by-side                                                               
comparison,  adding  that   the  structured  training,  technical                                                               
requirements, and  the safety elements  are all key  strengths of                                                               
the apprenticeship programs.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:42:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH  KELLY,  Statewide   Director,  Alaska  Joint  Electrical                                                               
Apprenticeship   and  Training   Trust,  provided   a  PowerPoint                                                               
presentation by  the Alaska  Joint Electrical  Apprenticeship and                                                               
Training  Trust.   Ms.  Kelly  informed  the committee  that  she                                                               
completed  an apprenticeship  through the  NECA IBEW  program and                                                               
became a journeyman  lineman, after which she worked  as a safety                                                               
professional for  (indisc.) contractor and was  also the Division                                                               
of  Labor Standards  and Safety  director under  Governor Walker.                                                               
She  proceeded  with  the presentation,  directing  attention  to                                                               
slide 2, titled "What we do," and read the following:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Apprenticeships:                                                                                                         
     ? Wireman (8,000 OJT Hours)                                                                                                
     ? Telecommunications (8,000 OJT Hours)                                                                                     
     ? Power Lineman (8,000 OJT Hours)                                                                                          
     ? Tree Trimmer (4,000 OJT Hours)                                                                                           
     Two training facilities: Anchorage and Fairbanks                                                                           
     325 apprentices statewide                                                                                                  
     Alternating paid on-the-job training with classroom                                                                        
     experience                                                                                                                 
     43 currently in rural communities                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:45:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:45:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked Ms. Kelly to continue.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:46:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KELLY resumed her presentation.   She highlighted slides 3-5,                                                               
which  exhibited   a  curriculum  schedule  and   OJT  assignment                                                               
categories  that would  typically be  completed during  a wireman                                                               
apprenticeship.   Ms. Kelly turned  attention to slide  6, titled                                                               
"Certificate  of  Fitness  -  AS   18.62,"  and  paraphrased  the                                                               
following:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
       Plumbing and Electrical Licenses"                                                                                        
       Public safety statutes                                                                                                   
       Exist because improper plumbing and electrical work                                                                      
     causes injury/death                                                                                                        
       Ensures that workers are competent and qualified                                                                         
       Works alongside Electrical and Mechanical                                                                                
     Administrators' statutes and state/local inspections                                                                       
     to protect public safety                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. KELLY explained, "why it matters"  on slide 7.  She said home                                                               
electrical  fires  account for  an  estimated  51,000 fires  each                                                               
year,  nearly 500  deaths,  more than  1,400  injuries, and  $1.3                                                               
billion in  property damage.   Furthermore, each year,  more than                                                               
400 Americans die  from unintentional CO poisoning  not linked to                                                               
fires, more than  20,000 visit the emergency room,  and more than                                                               
4,000 are hospitalized.  She  continued with slide 8, titled "Why                                                               
the department's proposal matters," and read the following:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
       The proposal results in no training standard - period                                                                    
      This proposal will allow 2 low-wage trainees to each                                                                      
     journey-                                                                                                                   
     level worker                                                                                                               
     ? Registered apprenticeships are allowed a maximum of                                                                      
     1 apprentice to                                                                                                            
     each journey-level worker                                                                                                  
       The proposal would allow cheap out of state labor                                                                        
     used in place                                                                                                              
     of Alaskans                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KELLY   added  that  the  department's   proposal  would  be                                                               
unthinkable for other skilled professions  that are relied on for                                                               
safety, like nurses, pilots, firefighters,  or EMTS.  She offered                                                               
her  belief   that  the  proposed  regulations   demonstrate  the                                                               
societal  bias  against  blue-collar trades  -  that  blue-collar                                                               
trades'  education  is less-than  or  inferior  because it's  not                                                               
associated with  a college  degree.   She reiterated  that people                                                               
rely on  this work to be  safe, which is why  the certificates of                                                               
fitness,  along  with the  required  training  and experience  is                                                               
important.      She   highlighted  another   problem   with   the                                                               
department's  proposal,   saying  that  it  provides   a  bidding                                                               
advantage  for those  who  choose not  to  go the  apprenticeship                                                               
path.   They can use  two low-wage trainees for  each journeyman,                                                               
whereas registered  apprenticeship participants can only  use one                                                               
low-wage  apprentice to  each journeyman.   Along  with the  fact                                                               
that  trainees  have no  step  wage  increase, while  apprentices                                                               
must, that's going to erode the number of apprentices in Alaska.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:52:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS asked which  contractors invest in AJEATT's                                                               
electrical training program.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KELLY   said  there  are   over  50   contractors  employing                                                               
apprentices   at   this   time,  including   Alcan   Electric   &                                                               
Engineering; various  public utilities and  collective utilities;                                                               
and Haakenson Electric.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS pointed  out that 50 contractors  is a lot.                                                               
He  said  it  disturbs  him  that  these  contractors  that  have                                                               
invested  for generations  would be  inadvertently undermined  by                                                               
this change.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:53:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KELLEY  said  additionally, by  expanding  this  alternative                                                               
pathway to  12,000 hours it  will create  more of a  class system                                                               
where  people  work for  years  trying  to  get experience  in  a                                                               
seasonal  and  project-based trade.    She  added that  they  are                                                               
meaningless  hours,  as there  is  no  guarantee of  training  or                                                               
relevant  experience.     Furthermore,  said  it   turns  trainee                                                               
certificates   into   a   ransom-to-work   because   there's   no                                                               
requirement  associated  with  them.    Overall,  she  said,  the                                                               
department's  proposal  will   hurt  apprenticeships,  result  in                                                               
unqualified workers being classified  as journeyman, and bring in                                                               
more   out-of-state  workers   instead  of   developing  Alaska's                                                               
workforce.   She continued by  saying that throughout  this whole                                                               
process  it appears  that the  department doesn't  understand the                                                               
effects  of  their  own  proposal because  they  didn't  talk  to                                                               
stakeholders or do their homework  and are now pushing a proposal                                                               
with no supporters on the record.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.   KELLY  directed   attention  back   to  slides   10-13  and                                                               
paraphrased the following:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ?Department proposed to allow 10 student trainees to                                                                       
     each journey-level worker on the job site                                                                                  
     ?Department proposed to eliminate testing for linemen                                                                      
     and plumber PU licenses                                                                                                    
     ? Department statements: "individual would be required                                                                     
     to pass the same extensive four-hour exam in order to                                                                      
     obtain a journeyman certificate of fitness license."                                                                       
     ?Apprenticeship requirement began in 2003, not 2006                                                                        
     ?Department uses 3 electrical industry fatalities to                                                                       
     justify its                                                                                                                
     position that safety will not be affected                                                                                  
     ?Department states there were no electrical industry                                                                       
     fatalities                                                                                                                 
     in 10 years prior to 2006                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. KELLY  addressed the  public comment  period on  the proposed                                                               
regulations  by   displaying  excerpts   of  comments   that  the                                                               
department classified as unclear on slide  14.  She said there is                                                               
no way  to read them in  good faith and describe  them as unclear                                                               
in their intent.   She noted that this was  not just one campaign                                                               
by one interest  group.  On the contrary, the  respondents were a                                                               
diverse  group that  included mechanical  contractors, electrical                                                               
contractors,   independent  safety   consultants,  the   governor                                                               
appointed   Alaska  Safety   Advisory  Counsel,   the  Associated                                                               
Builders and Contractors, Alaska  Power Association, the City and                                                               
Borough  of Juneau  building inspectors,  4 different  unions, 15                                                               
representatives,  9  senators, and  hundreds  of  Alaskans.   She                                                               
reiterated  that  this  diverse  group of  people  spoke  with  a                                                               
unanimous message  that said,  "please stop  these apprenticeship                                                               
changes."   Ms. Kelly  then turned attention  to slides  15-17 to                                                               
discuss  the  department's   proposed  definition  of  electrical                                                               
wiring,  which is  another example  that  "the department  hasn't                                                               
done their homework," she said.   To conclude, she asked that the                                                               
DLWD come back to the  stakeholders with real engagement and talk                                                               
to the industries  that understand the safety  issues inherent to                                                               
this kind of work.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
5:03:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS asked why it  matters to have mentorship on                                                               
the job  versus 12,000 hours  of work experience where  there may                                                               
or  may   not  be   mentorship  and   oversite  by   a  qualified                                                               
[journeyman].                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KELLY  explained that  mentorship  is  important because  it                                                               
creates workers  who are knowledgeable, qualified,  and committed                                                               
to continuing that investment in the trade.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:05:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AMY  NIBERT, President/CEO,  Associated Builders  and Contractors                                                               
of Alaska,  informed the committee  that Associated  Builders and                                                               
Contractors (ABC)  is a  national construction  trade association                                                               
with the philosophy that contracts  should be awarded to the most                                                               
responsive bidder  based on safety,  quality, and  price, whether                                                               
workers choose  to be  union or  nonunion.   She said  the Alaska                                                               
chapter has been  in operation since 1988  with an apprenticeship                                                               
program available  since 1999.   ABC has over 120  member owners,                                                               
contractors, suppliers, and associates  statewide that range from                                                               
big corporations  to small  family businesses.   Of  these member                                                               
companies,  over 70  participate in  the apprenticeship  program.                                                               
She reported that ABC has no  reason to believe the department is                                                               
trying  to  undermine  general  safety  or  create  an  untrained                                                               
licensed  workforce with  the proposed  regulations; nonetheless,                                                               
she  expressed  concern  of  that   becoming  the  result.    ABC                                                               
generally supports  OJT - although  for electrical  and plumbing,                                                               
it's important  to assure comprehensive  training for  all trades                                                               
for safety purposes.  She offered  her belief that with the right                                                               
oversite and control, the regulations  could get to a place where                                                               
ABC is comfortable with any  OJT that would provide comprehensive                                                               
training; however, no  one was consulted.  She  stated that there                                                               
was  no  dialogue,  no  conversation,  not  even  a  phone  call.                                                               
Furthermore,   the   regulations   provide   no   assurances   or                                                               
protections to ensure  the training is bonified and  not merely a                                                               
mechanism to hire without the  intention of people completing the                                                               
12,000 hours.   She said  ABC believes the regulations  should be                                                               
withdrawn  and  the  department  should  engage  stakeholders  to                                                               
resolve  the  problems.   Finally,  she  reiterated that  if  the                                                               
department  would  have  engaged  stakeholders,  ABC  would  have                                                               
likely found  an agreement to  most of the  proposed regulations.                                                               
She requested that  the department engage in  a conversation with                                                               
ABC that  identifies the problems  and work together  to identify                                                               
solutions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:08:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS   asked  how   ABC  supports   its  member                                                               
companies with on-the-job learning  as part of the apprenticeship                                                               
program,  which   would  not  necessarily  be   included  in  the                                                               
alternate pathway proposed by the department.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NIBERT  said ABC  of  Alaska  is a  correspondence  training                                                               
program.   She summarized the apprenticeship  application process                                                               
and training  program, noting that  the apprentices  are required                                                               
to report and test back to  ABC on a monthly basis throughout the                                                               
four to five-year process of becoming a journeyman.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:10:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM  FISHER,  President,  Aaron  Plumbing  and  Heating  Company,                                                               
stated  that he  has spent  42 years  in the  plumbing mechanical                                                               
industry  and is  a 4-year  member of  the United  Association of                                                               
Plumbers and Pipefitters local 375  in Fairbanks.  He highlighted                                                               
his qualifications,  which included a masters  plumber license, a                                                               
mechanical  administrators  license,  and a  general  contractors                                                               
license, as well as a BS  in mechanical engineering.  He conveyed                                                               
his disbelief  after reading the  proposed regulations.   He said                                                               
the  12,000-hour   pathway  seems   like  a  workaround   to  the                                                               
apprenticeship  program  that would  provide  the  state with  an                                                               
undertrained  and  under-skilled  workforce.     He  pointed  out                                                               
another red flag in the  documentation requirement of the 12,000-                                                               
hour pathway to  journeyman in the plumbing  and electrical trade                                                               
due to the potential risk involved  in those specific trades.  He                                                               
reiterated his disbelief and said  he could not identify any kind                                                               
of  training standard  in  the proposed  regulations.   He  urged                                                               
committee members not to approve the proposed changes.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:14:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ clarified that members  do not have the authority                                                               
to approve or reject the proposed regulations.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:15:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Labor and  Commerce Standing Committee  meeting was  adjourned at                                                               
5:15 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Proposed Regulations from DLWFD Dec 2019.pdf HL&C 2/5/2020 3:15:00 PM
Proposed MI regulations
Hakala USDOL Apprenticeship Licensing Final.pdf HL&C 2/5/2020 3:15:00 PM
Proposed MI regulations
MI Regulations Questions and Answer document.pdf HL&C 2/5/2020 3:15:00 PM
Proposed MI regulations
2019-2020 Proposed MI Regulations Explained (H L&C 2-5-20).pdf HL&C 2/5/2020 3:15:00 PM
Proposed MI regulations
Kelly Regulation Presentation to H L&C Feb 5 2020.pdf HL&C 2/5/2020 3:15:00 PM
Proposed DLWFD Regulations