Save Construction Apprenticeships!

Carpenters, Help Save Construction Apprenticeships! 

Friends and Family of the Trades 

Carpenters, help save construction apprenticeship by opposing the IRAP apprentice initiative – this is being by certain groups and only serves to WEAKEN our great apprenticeship programs and long term opportunity and quality of work.

The federal Department of Labor (DOL) has released new regulations governing Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs).  IRAPs would pose a major threat to our union apprenticeship system if they become recognized in the construction industry.  The proposed rule would currently make our industry exempt from IRAPs, but anti-union interest groups are pushing to eliminate the exemption.  

This is the largest threat against the building trades from a presidential administration in more than a generation, and we must take it seriously.  This campaign to save our apprenticeships will only succeed with fast and successful action by local unions. 

What are IRAPs, and how will they hurt us?  IRAPs are loosely-regulated training programs that do not require the same quality of instruction, pay scales or journeyman graduation rates as our federally registered union apprenticeships.  If IRAPs enter the construction industry they will undercut our apprenticeships all over the country, costing us work to the nonunion sector and making every jobsite less safe.

Registered Apprenticeship vs. Industry Recognized Apprenticeship 

Registered Apprenticeship

  1. Clearly defined criteria for registering an apprenticeship program
  2. Strict standards apply to all federally registered apprenticeship programs
  3. Heavily regulated by the Dept. of Labor
  4. Must provide proof of journeymen graduation rates
  5. Nationally recognized certifications and credentials
  6. Require safety training
  7. Pay a living wage
  8. Admissions standards comply with anti-discrimination policies and fair hiring practices
  9. Current union apprenticeship programs


  1. Loosely defined criteria for a program to qualify as an apprenticeship
  2. Lax standards; let the buyer beware
  3. Minimal oversight by the Dept. of Labor
  4. No graduation or completion requirements
  5. No widespread recognition of certifications or credentials
  6. No requirement for safety training
  7. No wage guarantees
  8. Exempt from the anti-discrimination policies and fair hiring practices our programs have
  9. Just a rebranded nonunion open-shop training program

Please go to and fill out the short form supporting our efforts. Thank you!

Did You Know?

PNWRCC offers scholarships for your kids.

The Northwest Carpenters’ Union values education, and offers both our members and their families access to the high quality college education that working members of the Northwest’s middle class deserve. Apply Now


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