DOVER, Del.- Electrical contractors have been following the same licensing law for 30 years. But, starting next week, those rules are about to change. The new law changes the licensing and who must be compliant.
The law goes into effect June 30. It states every worker with an electrical contractor must be a state-approved licensed electrician. This means the workers must have completed an apprentice program.
Bryan Warren is a licensed electrician in Milford. His licenses are pinned on the wall in his office and with the new law, all of BW Electric's employees will have to do the same. Warren said it has been a last minute scramble.
"I have a couple gentleman that have worked in the field for years 20-30 years that have learned the trade all of that and can do anything you ask them to do," Warren said. "But, because of a paperwork formality they're facing unemployment."
Warren and other Delaware electric contractors were first alerted about the change in February. The law creates apprentices that must be at least 18 years of age and enrolled in or completed a program at a vocational school. Warren said this eliminates summer jobs for college or high school students who want to learn the trade. Thus, shrinking his workforce.
"I may have to downsize to be able to keep my guys working and compliant it's going to be harder to grow this company due to the fact that not everyone is going to qualify for this," Warren said.
At Dover Electric Supply Company, President Bernard Tudor said the new Delaware law will hurt the electrical industry and possibly send a shock to your pocketbook.
"There's going to be less of them that are qualified according to House Bill 180 to do that work," Tudor said. "When there's a lessening of the work force, the price of the work force will go up to the general public for no good reason," said Tudor.
The legislature passed this law as a safety measure. According to lawmakers, it requires workers to get more training and be more cautious while on the job in Delaware.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:19 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:19:20 GMT
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