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The ABCs of Executive Order 108

By Marie Rohde

Last week, industry representatives offered advice to Gov. Scott Walker on regulations that need to be ditched as he considers all that are enforced by the soon-to-be-abandoned Department of Commerce.

John Mielke, vice president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin, said overregulation isn’t limited to Commerce and sometimes even simple rules can get bogged down in bureaucracy.

“The first thing I’d like the governor to do is rescind Executive Order 108,” said Mielke.

So far, so good, says Mielke.

The order requires large companies that are awarded contracts with the Department of Administration or the Department of Transportation to have apprenticeship programs.

Implementation of the regulation was assigned to the Department of Workforce Development, Mielke noted.

“The Department of Workforce Development has developed a 50-page rule to implement a pretty simple order,” said Mielke. “It has taken on a life of its own. It’s become a multiheaded beast and I would urge the governor to kill it quickly.”

A spokesman for Walker did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.


  1. Lets see — E.O. 108 requires companies that bid on state work to help train the next generation of craftsmen that will help build and maintain Wisconsin economic engines of the future so it only fitting that the ABC would be against that. —- maybe that how we get the 250,000 jobs, we dumb down the work force so it takes 3 wannabees to replace 1 trained craftsman —- way to go ABC this will really move Wisconsin forward

  2. ABC, if you don’t like the program–DON”T BID ON GOVERNMENT JOBS. The apprentice program is not just a state level issue. Much of the Federal money we get (i.e. the return of our tax dollars) hinges on the apprentice program as well. You get PAID in larger contracts to train new people, so please quit your whining. Next thing they’ll want to abolish is the minimum wage rates on projects as well…again, another requirement for the use of federal money.

  3. Concerned worker

    What about the journeyworkers that are displaced because of companies have to bring on new apprentices? I understand the need for training, but when you have guys that have been in the trades sitting on the bench because of the lack of work, it’s not fair to their years of dedication to have them pushed to the end of the line.

    ABC isn’t the enemy in this scenario folks.

  4. Todd Farnsworthy

    How specific is EO108? Meaning, does it specifically exclude journeymen or are the ‘apprenticeship’ programs’ definitions more general? I agree that people already training in their trade shouldn’t be set aside to make up a quota, but I expect that isn’t the intent of the regulation. If journeymen are still receiving ‘training’ which costs their company something, EO108 might actually be working toward their benefit.

  5. Todd, EO 108 specifies that the workers must be in a state approved apprenticeship program and must be contracted. This means journeyworkers (even though they could be doing training or continuing education of some sort) are not included.

    Here’s a whole wealth of information on EO 108:

    It’s bureaucracy running wild!

  6. I think folks are missing a bigger picture with EO 108.
    Training and apprenticeships are great. Backbone of any organization.
    What do you do with a company (any size, shape or color) that cannot produce an apprentice because their proposed occupation or job on a project does not have an apprenticeship program?
    The State at first gave our exemptions though declined them in the past couple of years.
    Start up, minority or specialty companies may be excluded form a job because they do (let us say) paint stripping or trash clean up. Jobs without an approved apprenticeship program.
    Now the job has to go to someone who has other areas within their company that have apprenticeship programs.
    You just took a job away from someone because they are too specialized (and probably a cheaper bid) because their occupation does not have an approved apprenticeship program.
    Defeats the whole get out and work, kinda, thingy don’t ya think?

  7. It makes you wonder how the construction industry got anything done before the government regulated them. Thank God for government overreach. If it weren’t for unions, we would have a bumbling mass of racist laborers too stupid to lay a brick. (sarcasm)

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