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Legislation to Expand Apprenticeships, Invest in Workforce Training Introduced


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-1) – alongside Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA-53) and Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-3) – introduced a proposal to reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act that would create nearly one million new Registered Apprenticeship, youth apprenticeship, and pre-apprenticeship positions over the next five years. The National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 invests nearly $3.5 billion over five years to scale-up apprenticeship opportunities, streamline access to apprenticeships for workers and employers, and expand apprenticeships into new in-demand industry sectors and occupations.

“As an electrician, I know firsthand that education and job training is not one-size-fits-all. A registered apprenticeship program shaped my life – laying the foundation for me to go from construction work to Congress,” said Congressman Norcross, the only electrician in Congress. “When a child is born, you don’t know if they’ll want to go to college, build the college or even defend the college, and we must support each child equally. We need construction workers and computer programmers, just like we need doctors, judges and first responders – and this bill will provide apprenticeship opportunities for countless students and future workers while strengthening the successful models developed by the Registered Apprenticeship Program.”

“The National Apprenticeship Act will build on the success of apprenticeship programs by increasing our investment in American workers and creating more opportunities for them to get critical skills that lead to high-paying careers,” said Congresswoman Davis. “We know the Registered Apprenticeship system is very successful, but it is just not having the impact on the workforce we need. By increasing standards, accountability, and coordinating programs with higher education institutions along with a greater investment, it will benefit more workers, the taxpayers, and our economy.”

Norcross played an integral role in drafting the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020. The new package incorporates the following Norcross-sponsored, legislation:

  • Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act that Norcross introduced in 2019 alongside David McKinley (R-W.Va) and U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), which establishes a new initiative to grow and expand highly successful Apprenticeship Hubs.
  • The bipartisan 21st Century Energy Workforce Act that Norcross introduced in 2017 with Congressman David McKinley (R-WV) direct the Department of Energy to incentivize training for skilled energy industry jobs.
  • Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunities Act that Norcross introduced in 2019 alongside Congressmen Bill Keating (D-MA), which authorizes the Department of the Interior to award offshore wind career training grants to institutions of higher education and labor organizations to develop, offer or improve educational and career training programs that provide skills necessary for employment in the offshore wind industry.
  • PATH Act that Congressman Norcross introduced in 2019 alongside Congressman David McKinley (R-WV), which would provide grants to assist in the creation and sustenance of pre-apprenticeship programs that serve racial minorities, women, long-term unemployed individuals and people from impoverished census tracts. 

According to the Department of Labor, 94 percent of apprentices who complete Registered Apprenticeships are employed upon completion, earning an average starting wage of above $70,000 annually. Yet, according to the most recent data, only 0.3 percent of the overall workforce in America have completed an apprenticeship.

The proposal’s historic investments in workforce training would not only benefit workers and their families but would save American taxpayers an estimated $10.6 billion in the form of increased tax revenues from higher worker pay and productivity and decreased spending on public-assistance programs and unemployment insurance.

To read the bill text for the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, click here.

To read the fact sheet for the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, click here

To read the section-by-section for the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, click here.