WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) voted to advance the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, legislation that invests more than $3.5 billion to create nearly one million new apprenticeship opportunities over the next five years. Norcross is a lead sponsor and author of the bill along with his fellow House Education in Labor Committee members Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA-53) and Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03). The proposal marks a historic investment in workforce training as the nation continues to face record-level unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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. “This bill provides students and workers all over the country the ability to pursue apprenticeship opportunities by strengthening the proven and successful models developed by the Registered Apprenticeship Program. Expanding access to apprenticeship opportunities will connect workers with stable, good-paying jobs and accelerate our economic recovery.”
Norcross added: “The Building Trades have created the ‘gold standard’ of the Registered Apprenticeship Program, and this legislation will expand that gold standard across all American industries. The National Apprenticeship Act is a vital investment in our most successful workforce training program where workers can earn while they learn, and I am pleased that four of my apprenticeship bills have been incorporated.”
Four pieces of Norcross’ sponsored legislation were included in the Committee’s passage of the bill:
- 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) establishes a new initiative to grow and expand highly successful Apprenticeship Hubs.
- 21st Century Energy Workforce Act that Norcross introduced in 2017 with Congressman David McKinley (R-WV) directs 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) 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) 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.
The fact sheet for the National Apprenticeship Act is available here.