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City approves new requirement for contractors to use apprentices

February 19th, 2014 - 5:27am

(Port Angeles) All city contractors with jobs over a million dollars will have to use apprentices.

The Port Angeles city council voted unanimously last night to approve the new requirement, although some council members had misgivings.

The new requirement mandates contractors fill at least 15 percent of the labor on large projects from state-approved apprenticeship programs.

The ordinance was sponsored by Councilman Lee Whetham, a former long-time plumber and union leader.

Whetham feels the program could eventually be a boon for the city's work force.

While voting for the ordinance, Councilman Dan Gase had some misgivings about the measure. Gase says he is unsure if the program will actually expand the labor force in Port Angeles and might drive up costs.

The city council decided to take another look at the program before 4-years have elapsed, and evaluate it's effectiveness.

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