Move seemed sensible, but it didn't work out

May 31, 2009 

Moving a state program could be more trouble than it's worth.

Gov. Beverly Perdue had proposed eliminating a work-force apprenticeship program housed in the Department of Labor. The program cost $1.8million a year and was the only activity of its kind in the department, which focuses heavily on workplace safety.

Perdue's plan was to shift the apprenticeship function to the community college system, which focuses on job training and work-force development.

The program would cost just as much, if not more, to run through the colleges, said Sen. Floyd McKissick, who is co-chairman of a budget subcommittee that looked at the issue.

Community college officials were not enthusiastic about the idea, he said.

"They didn't come right out and say it, but they basically said they'd have reservations," said McKissick, a Durham Democrat.

McKissick said the apprenticeship program, which has been under the Labor Department since the 1930s, was helping guarantee higher wages for participants.

The committee decided to recommend that the program stay where it is. But it would have to start charging a small fee, which would raise $450,000 to help the program offset some of its costs.

"It was a good program, and it worked," McKissick said

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service