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County Legislature Overrides Giambra Veto of Apprenticeship Bill

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Executive Joel Giambra's veto of an apprenticeship training bill was overridden Thursday by the County Legislature.

The new law will require contractors doing $250,000 worth of business with the county to have a state-certified apprenticeship training program. Supporters say it will result in a better trained work force. But Lancaster Democrat Kathy Konst says she still has some questions about it.

"I don't think it has been vetted properly," Konst said. "I don't think that all the parties that are going to be affected have been given a seat at the table to decide if this is the best way to approach educating these workers."

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership had urged the Legislature to sustain Giambra's veto. In a letter to legislative leaders, Partnership President Andrew Rudnick said many small, non-union contractors are not capable of providing apprenticeship programs. He said eliminating them from bidding on county projects will end up costing jobs.