Contractor Apprenticeship Program

Program Overview

Whatcom County is committed to working in partnership with labor, business, and the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council to create a skilled workforce that reflects the diversity of our population and promotes community development. 

The Revised Code of Washington RCW 39.04.320 and the Contractor Apprenticeship Program (CAP)  WCC 3.72* both require no less than 15 percent (15%) of total labor hours to be performed by apprentices on public work projects when the cost estimate of the project is $1,000,000 or more. This requirement will increase apprentices' training opportunities and build a skilled workforce.

  • What: any public work projects with a cost estimate greater than or equal to $1,000,000, no less than 15 percent (15%) of the total labor hours will be performed by apprentices.
    • A “public work” is defined by RCW 39.04.010 as all work, construction, alteration, repair, or improvement other than ordinary maintenance, executed at the cost of the state or of any municipality, or which is by law a lien or charge on any property therein.
    • An “apprentice” refers to a person enrolled in a training program that has been approved or recognized by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council.
  • When: public work projects advertised for bid on or after July 1, 2024. (Also applicable to several pilot projects prior to 7/1/24 as outlined in their bid solicitations.)
  • Who: all contractors and subcontractors.

When the CAP is not applicable

  • Public Work projects with a cost estimate of less than $1,000,000.
  • When funding agreements for the project have an apprentice requirement. This includes, but is not limited to, DBE or Federal training goals.
  • When a public work project is affected by a local, state, or federally-declared emergency event.

*See WCC 3.72 as amended by the Whatcom County Council on December 5, 2023. 

CAP Forms & Guidelines

Contractor Expectations

When a public works project meets the criteria to comply with the CAP, this requirement will be identified in the bid solicitation, and the contract documents' special provisions will include further details.

For more information, view our CAP Contractor Resource Page.

Related Websites

*See WCC 3.72 as amended by the Whatcom County Council on December 5, 2023. 

View All CAP Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us


  1. Public Works CAP Coordinator

    Public Works Administration
    322 N Commercial Street
    Bellingham, WA 98225

    Phone: 360-778-6200
    Fax: 360-778-6201
    [email protected]