House Bill 1817

Oil Refinery Requirements to Help Build Washington Workforce

Training leads to jobs and new state legislation in Washington shows how.

Washington State House Bill 1817 is a landmark bill that addresses refinery safety by establishing apprenticeship and wage standards. The bill became effective on January 1, 2020; the next four years will require contractors and subcontractors on petroleum refining or petrochemical manufacturing job sites to double their skilled and trained workforces, meaning all workers must be either registered apprentices or skilled journeypersons. 

At least 35 percent of skilled journeypersons must meet certain apprenticeship graduation requirements in 2021, with the percentage growing to 60 percent by 2024. In addition, by 2022, all workers must have completed within the last two years at least 20 hours of approved advanced safety training for workers at high hazard facilities. 

House Bill 1817 is modeled after California Senate Bill 54, which was passed in 2013. The contracted work performed at refineries in California went from 90% out-of-state workers to 90% in-state workers and an influx of refinery workers earned union benefits for the first time.  

This bill will help train Washington’s next generation of skilled workers by requiring state-approved apprenticeship programs and reduce work injuries because of skill and safety training requirements. House Bill 1817 is an opportunity that will benefit workers, the economy, and the environment. 

To learn more about House Bill 1817, click here.

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