Apparent Shortage of Licensed Plumbers in North West Arkansas

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.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)