The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued a Notice of Public Rulemaking (NPRM) to update the regulations that implement the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937. The current regulations were promulgated in 1977, and, according to Alexandria, Va.-based Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC), are in need of updates in order to reflect the changes in the nation’s workforce over the past 30 years. According to the organization, there is much in the proposed rule that will be beneficial, but there are also issues of concern for IEC and its members.

Members may download a pdf of the notice from IEC’s Web site. After reviewing the notice in its entirety to determine its potential impact on IEC members and their apprentices, the IEC Board of Directors, with recommendation from the A&T Committee, has identified three specific areas of concern that it wants to highlight at this time:

  • Section 29.5(b)(4) in regard to instruction qualification
  • Section 29.6 in regard to program evaluation based on completion rate
  • Section 29.10 in regard to the process of appeals

IEC National will continue to review the proposed rulemaking and complete the development of its formal comments, including any further input from IEC members and chapters, and submit comments to DOL by January 21. At that time, IEC National will disseminate these formal comments to IEC members and chapters in an effort to assist in formulating their own comments for submission to DOL. IEC National’s Board of Directors urges all members and chapters to make their views and concerns known to DOL as part of our association’s effort to engage in this very important effort. Comments can be directed to Bob Baird, IEC’s VP for training & development, at bbaird@ieci.org or via phone at (703) 650-0051.