Skilled and Trained Workforce Requirements

January 1, 2020 brings new requirements for Skilled and Trained workforce on selected public works jobs.

Existing Skilled and Trained Workforce Requirements in the state Public Contracts Code require that apprentices on specified public works jobs be enrolled in a state certified apprenticeship program or are journeymen with either a certificate of completion from a certified apprenticeship program or have a record of sufficient hours in their apprenticeable trade to have completed a graduated from an apprenticeship program.  

In recent years, statutes have been added to state law that set a minimum for journey-persons on a job that can show proof of graduation from an apprenticeship program. 

As of January 1, 2020 there are additional public works jobs covered under Skilled and Trained Workforce statutes and for some trades, 60% of all journey-persons will be required to have a graduation certificate from their apprenticeable trade. 

At present, California’s Skilled and Trained workforce requirements already apply to:  

  • School District (K-12) Design Build projects $1 Million or greater.
  • School District (K-12) Lease Leaseback projects.
  • Local Agency & other Specified State Agency Design Build projects over $1 Million.
  • City of San Diego CM At-Risk projects over $25 Million.
  • LAUSD Best Value projects larger over $1 Million.
  • Alameda, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Solano & Yuba County  Best Value projects of $1 Million or greater.
  • SANDAG, MTS, and NCTD projects $1 Million or greater.
In 2019, the legislature passed and the Governor approved several additional statutes requiring a statutorily defined Skilled and trained workforce including:  
  • AB 356 (D, Santiago) Los Angeles Community College District: best value procurement: pilot program.  projects over $1,000,000.
  • AB 695 (D, Medina) Community college facilities: design-build contracts.
  • AB 1752 (D, Petrie-Norris) South Coast Water District. Doheny Ocean Desalination Project,
  • AB 1413 (D, Gloria) Transportation: transactions and use taxes. the County of Placer, the Solano Transportation Improvement Agency, San Diego County, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, and the North County Transit District.
Under current law, state law will continue to require that 30% of journeypersons in the following apprenticeable trades have graduated from an approved apprenticeship program on the covered work:
  • Acoustical Installer
  • Bricklayer
  • Carpenter
  • Cement Mason
  • Drywall Installer or Lather
  • Marble Mason
  • Finisher
  • Systems Installer
  • Operating Engineer
  • Pile Driver
  • Plasterer
  • Roofer
  • Waterproofer
  • Stone Mason
  • Surveyor  
  • Terrazzo Worker or Finisher
  • Tile Layer, Setter or Finisher


  • As of January 2020, however, the apprentice graduation requirement for all other apprenticeable crafts on covered work, including Laborers, will increase to 60% of journeymen.  

    Compliance and Penalties:

    • On applicable work, the contractor must provide a report demonstrating compliance to the awarding body on a monthly basis.  
    • The awarding body can withhold payments until a complete report is provided.
    • Further, the State Labor Commissioner can assess penalties of up to $5,000 per month for work performed in violation of this chapter.  For a second or subsequent violation within a three-year period: $10,000 per month for work performed.
    • When violations are considered “willful” or “with intent to defraud” the penalty assessed by the Labor Commissioner can include debarment.  
    Resources for Skilled and Trained Workforce Requirements:

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