Brothers and Sisters,

This requires your urgent action. (

The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a rule that would allow private entities like employers and trade associations to self-certify apprenticeship programs as Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs or IRAPs.

IRAPs are “apprenticeship programs” that are not registered with a state or the DOL and would not fall under the same requirements as current DOL or state registered apprenticeship programs, such as our college-accredited program. IRAPs differ significantly from our Registered Joint Apprenticeship Programs, the industry gold standard. Our programs help recruit, train and retain workers through progressive wage increases; apprentice-to-jouneyman ratios that promote safety; quality assurance assessments by the government; uniform standards; mandatory safety training; instructor eligibility requirements; and transparency requirements. The proposed IRAP regulation abandons these important protections and gives virtually any business entity the license to implement whatever rock-bottom standards they see fit.

IRAPs would undermine our Registered Apprenticeship Programs.  IRAPs in the construction industry would jeopardize both the quality of construction and the safety and security of the construction workforce, weakening every community across the country where these workers reside and are needed.

We need you, your family members and friends to take a minute to visit

Follow the simple instructions to email a pre-written letter stating your opposition to IRAPs and tell the DOL we do not need them in our industry.  Time is of the essence, as all responses are due before the end of August. This is yet another attack on unions and we can’t and won’t stand for it.

Thanks for your immediate help.

If you have any questions, contact Local 98’s Marita Crawford at 215-563-5592.


Yours in solidarity,

John J. Dougherty

Business Manager