Gov. Kathy Hochul has reappointed ILR Labor and Employment Law Programs Director Esta Bigler ’70 as chair of the New York State Apprenticeship and Training Council.
Since 2008, Bigler has served as chair of the seven-member council, which advises the state labor commissioner on training, standards, trends and other elements that can help drive apprenticeships, a source of skilled workers in areas experiencing labor shortages.
New York has one of the most extensive apprenticeship programs in the nation. More than 17,000 apprentices are currently working in 912 programs. A state-registered apprenticeship program is a prerequisite for bidding on public works projects in New York state.
“As a council, we review all new apprenticeship applications and recommend to the commissioner whether to grant the trade-registered apprenticeship status,” Bigler said. “Registered apprenticeship, the gold standard of workforce training, is an earn-while-you-learn program.”
At total capacity, the apprenticeship council includes three employee representatives, three employer representatives, a public sector representative and a chairperson. The governor appoints each for a three-year term.
In addition to chairing the meetings, Bigler also leads deregistration hearings when a program does not fulfill its obligations.