Madison (AP) — State auditors say the Department of Workforce Development should step up efforts to ensure diversity in apprenticeship programs.
The Legislative Audit Bureau found DWD has not consistently required local trade committees, which assign apprentices to employers, to update affirmative action plans. Auditors found of the 6,818 apprentices in construction trades in fiscal year 2008-09, 568 were minorities and 136 were women.
DWD has inconsistently enforced an order that requires apprentices to work on state construction and highway projects and noncompliance increased each year between 2006 and 2009, according to the auditors.
DWD Secretary Roberta Gassman told auditors the agency is developing a budget to track new apprentice applicants and uniform requirements for committee affirmative action plans. She said the DWD has started new outreach efforts to attract minorities and is working on steps to ensure contractors use apprentices on state work.