ABC of Michigan secured an important victory for electricians when Gov. Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) signed industry-backed Public Act 73  of 2016 on April 5. 

ABC of Michigan advocated for the legislation, which will increase the ratio from one to three apprentices per one journeyman electrician through an amendment of the Electrical Administrative Act. State Rep. Amanda Price (R-Holland) introduced the bill in January 2016 in response to a 2008 court decision that lifted an injunction and allowed the previous one-to-one ratio to be implemented. 

By allowing more flexibility in the ratio, contractors can hire, train and retain more apprentice employees, which will help spur much-needed growth in skilled labor and provide more opportunities for apprentices to enter the workforce. The Michigan Office of Regulatory Reinvention’s report on occupational licensing stated that failing to revise the ratio requirement might have resulted “in many apprentices losing their jobs.” 

The bill also specifies that requirements for electrical apprenticeship programs in Michigan must be identical to those recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. This will keep standards consistent and ensure that merit shop apprenticeship programs cannot be unduly discriminated against in favor of union programs.

Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah and West Virginia also have three-to-one ratios in place.