April 16, 2006 - Posted at 12:19 p.m. CST
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Training people to become licensed
plumbers is apparently going too slow to keep up with demand in
northwest Arkansas. Plumbing contractors and builders are reporting
a shortage of licensed plumbers for large construction projects.
For one thing, the state has a licensing requirement that only
one apprentice can be trained at a time with one journeyman or
master plumber. Other states allow plumbers to have a few
apprentices at a time.
Lee Danner with the Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship and
Training office in Little Rock says the one-to-one ratio is a
safety measure for the worker and the consumer. Danner says
plumbing is a dangerous occupation. Ditches can collapse on
workers, fires can cause injury or damage and plumbers come in
contact with many chemicals on job sites. Also, he says, consumers
deserve to have a qualified and educated plumber working on what is
usually a largest investment for them.