Montana Administrative Register Notice 24-21-301 No. 23   12/11/2014    
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In the matter of the the amendment of ARM 24.21.415 and 24.21.1003, pertaining to apprenticeship training ratios







TO: All Concerned Persons


            1. On January 5, 2015, at 10:00 a.m., the Department of Labor and Industry (department) will hold a public hearing in the auditorium of the DPHHS Building, 111 North Sanders, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules.


            2. The department will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this public hearing or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the department no later than 5:00 p.m., on December 29, 2014, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact the Workforce Services Division, Department of Labor and Industry, Attn: Darrell Holzer, P.O. Box 1728, Helena, MT 59624-1728; telephone (406) 444-3556; fax (406) 444-3037; Relay Service for persons needing TTY or voice assistance, 711; or e-mail dholzer@mt.gov.


            3. The rules proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


      24.21.415 RATIO WAIVER PROCESS (1)  The registration agency may consider waiver of ratio standards only if the registered apprenticeship sponsor is in full compliance with registered standards and there are no outstanding complaints directly related to the specific registered apprenticeship program. The registration agency may waive ratio standards for a registered apprenticeship sponsor who demonstrates the need for a waiver by documented proof of all of the following:

      (a)  the registered apprenticeship sponsor's existing apprentices are current with the required related instruction, including apprentices that have been granted credit;

      (b)  the registered apprenticeship sponsor's existing apprentices have a documented 80 75 percent or higher accumulated grade average in related instruction;

      (c)  the registered apprenticeship sponsor must be registered for a minimum of two years to be eligible to apply for a ratio waiver;

      (d) (c) the registered apprenticeship sponsor must notify and document attempts to seek qualified journeyworkers journeymen from internal trade associations, area employers in like occupations and , or by posting a statewide-confidential job order through the nearest local job service office that is nearest to the shop where the apprentice is to be employed; and

      (e) (d)  the registered apprenticeship sponsor must have an established completion rate that is no less than 80 at least 60 percent, based on the total number of all past and current apprentices. That number does not include:

      (i)  apprentices who have rolled over to other programs registered with the sponsor; and

      (ii)  cancellations by apprentices, either through noncompliance or cancellations that have occurred during the probation period stated in the registered apprenticeship sponsor's registered standards.


      AUTH: 39-6-101, MCA

      IMP:    39-6-101, 39-6-106, MCA



      (1) The apprentice-to-journeyman ratio may not exceed the following criteria:

      (a) The first journeyman employed by a sponsor may supervise one apprentice.

      (b) Two additional journeymen employed by the sponsor are required to supervise each additional apprentice.

      (1)(2)  An apprentice that meets the following criteria is not counted when computing the apprentice to journeyworker ratio:

      (a) an apprentice that has completed 80 60 percent or more of the on-the-job training hours and 60 percent or more of the related instruction in an apprenticeship program lasting more than 8,000 hours; or

      (b) an apprentice that has completed 75 percent or more of the on-the-job training and related instruction for apprenticeship programs lasting less than 8,000 hours is not counted for purposes of the apprentice-to-journeyman ratio provided for in (1).

      (2)(3)  The apprentice- to- journeyworker journeyman ratio applies to individual work sites as well as the entire firm or operation of the registered apprenticeship sponsor.


      AUTH: 39-6-101, MCA

      IMP:   39-6-102, 39-6-106, MCA


STATEMENT OF REASONABLE NECESSITY: There is reasonable necessity to amend ARM 24.21.415 and 24.21.1003, in response to requests from apprenticeship sponsors regarding changing apprenticeship ratios. In the licensed occupations of plumbers and electricians, only qualified registered apprentices are allowed by law to take the tests required to obtain a journeyman's license. With respect to those occupations, there is an increasing need for journeyman plumbers and electricians, both due to improving economic conditions and the fact that the existing workforce is aging.


      The department met on several occasions during fall of 2014 with a number of stakeholders from apprenticeship sponsors (both union-affiliated and independent) and from organized labor associations to discuss the issues facing those industries. The stakeholders reached consensus that Montana's historical 1:3 apprentice-to-journeyman ratio was not necessary to ensure that apprentices were being adequately supervised, and that a 1:2 ratio would balance adequate supervision with the need of participating sponsors to train more apprentices. While a number of possible alternatives were explored with the stakeholders group, the department concludes that the consensus agreement that is reflected in the proposed amendments is reasonable and appropriate.


There is reasonable necessity to amend the rules to replace the term "journeyworker" with the more accepted term "journeyman" while otherwise amending the rules.


            4. Concerned persons may present their data, views, or arguments, either orally or in writing, at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Darrell Holzer, Apprenticeship Program, Workforce Services Division, Department of Labor and Industry, P.O. Box 1728, Helena, Montana 59624-1728; by facsimile to (406) 444-3037; or by e-mail to dholzer@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., January 12, 2015.


            5. An electronic copy of this notice of public hearing is available through the department's web site at http://dli.mt.gov, under the events section, as well as the Secretary of State's web site. The department strives to make the electronic copy of this notice of public hearing conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered. In addition, although the department strives to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems, and that a person's difficulties in sending an e-mail do not excuse late submission of comments.


            6.  The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request, which includes the name and e-mail or mailing address of the person to receive notices, and specifies the particular subject matter or matters regarding which the person wishes to receive notices. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the Department of Labor and Industry, attention: Mark Cadwallader, 1327 Lockey Avenue, P.O. Box 1728, Helena, Montana 59624-1728, faxed to the department at (406) 444-1394, e-mailed to mcadwallader@mt.gov, or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the agency.


            7. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


            8. Pursuant to 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the rule changes proposed in this notice may have a significant and direct impact upon certain small businesses. The classes of small businesses which may be affected are licensed plumbing contractors and licensed electrical contractors that have established a registered apprenticeship program with the department. Based on the department's records of registered apprenticeship sponsors in November 2014, the department estimates that 235 plumbing firms and 385 electrical firms could be affected by the proposed rule change.


The expected effect of the rule is to allow those establishments to increase the number of apprenticeship positions that the business is allowed to have with a given number of licensees (master or journeyman level) available for supervision of the apprentices. Whether or not such businesses would be directly affected depends on a number of factors, including economic conditions and workload for the business.


The department concludes that because the proposed rule changes are permissive (in that they merely allow plumbing and electrical contractors to increase the number of apprentices if the firm so desires), there are no anticipated adverse effects or impacts due to the rule changes being proposed, and thus there are no adverse effects to minimize or eliminate.


The documentation supporting this small business impact analysis is available on request from the department.


            9. The department's Office of Administrative Hearings has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.




Mark Cadwallader                         Pam Bucy, Commissioner

Alternate Rule Reviewer                DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY


Certified to the Secretary of State December 1, 2014


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