LaPORTE COUNTY - LaPorte County is imposing a new law that requires contractors to have an established apprenticeship program in order to bid on county jobs costing at least $150,000.
The "Times" reports it's a safeguard being put in place by a new law aimed at making sure the construction LaPorte County is paying for is top quality.
The new law also reportedly evens the job competition between union and non-union companies vying for the work.
LaPorte County Commission President Rich Mrozinski told the "Times" that he is aware of how important the move is to organized labor.
The apprenticeship program must have at least five graduates in each of the past five years.
Mrozinski says the requirements provide assurance of quality workmanship and that the workers are trained to do the job.
Mrozinski said the standards make it more difficult for companies to land contracts if they’re paying below scale wages in cash in order to undercut legitimate contractors during the bidding.
Panel member Joe Haney voted against the proposal because he said
the requirements will keep legitimate small businesses, potentially including those owned by minorities and women, out of the bidding process.