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NJBIA is urging the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development to bring flexibility to proposed regulations for a new law requiring all contractors to participate in an NJDOLWD-registered apprenticeship program, to bid on public works contracts.

The law, which was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Jan. 18, was strongly opposed by NJBIA as it severely limits the ability of small businesses to bid on public works contracts due to the apprenticeship program requirements.

In comments submitted to NJDOLWD Executive Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs David Fish, NJBIA Director of Government Affairs Alexis Bailey said New Jersey must be prepared to encourage more contractors, not less, to execute “many future projects that are likely with federal infrastructure dollars coming to the state” as a result of federal infrastructure dollars.

“In 2020, 1,900 potential contractors were denied bids for public works contracts with the majority of them losing out on a contract for failing to participate in an apprenticeship program,” Bailey said. “Despite the Legislature and Governor Murphy stressing the need to assist the small business community, this outcome is completely contradictory to that claim.”

Among Bailey’s recommendation during the rule promulgating period, were the removal or clarification of several provisions to assist with compliance obligations.

To read the full comments, click here.