To the editor: Training a skilled, productive and safe workforce is critical for the growth of our borough. Construction workers can make a living wage and bring down labor costs at the same time. This is what the apprentice utilization ordinance is about — training, community and efficiency.
Apprenticeship programs create invaluable career opportunities for both individuals entering the construction industry, and for employers to shape their future workforce. Baby boomers are retiring, and with ongoing cuts to public education funding for shop classes, we are now, more than ever, in need of sustainable career paths for construction workers. Apprenticeship programs create those paths — along with a pool of local, trained construction workers, available to build our community.
Apprenticeship programs save taxpayer dollars — they bring down the labor cost by scaling wages proportional to education, which is a win-win for family wages and for our local budget. These savings mean our property tax dollars go further, allowing for more work and more growth. Apprentices grow into skilled, professional craft workers with a long, well-paying and respectable career ahead of them. This means these workers can afford to live locally and contribute to their city.