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Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Susan Wild (PA-07)

November 20, 2020

Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) voted to pass H.R. 8294, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 through the House of Representatives. As our nation faces the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the legislation would invest more than $3.5 billion over five years to create nearly 1 million additional apprenticeship opportunities. Registered Apprenticeships – which provide apprentices with paid, on-the-job training – are the nation’s most successful federal workforce training program.

“COVID-19 has exposed shortcomings in our workforce infrastructure – but it shouldn’t take a recession or a pandemic to invest in our workers right here in the Greater Lehigh Valley,” Wild said. “This critical legislation resets our approach and makes necessary investments in our workforce regardless of our economic fortunes or misfortunes, and provides our workers with the opportunity to earn while they learn and obtain portable credentials without incurring significant debt.”

Expanding access to apprenticeship opportunities will connect workers with stable, good-paying jobs, and accelerate our economic recovery. According to the Department of Labor, 94 percent of people who complete Registered Apprenticeships are employed upon completion, earning an average starting wage of more than $70,000 annually. Investments in apprenticeships not only pay off for workers and employers, they also benefit taxpayers. For every dollar invested in our Registered Apprenticeship system, we see a return of $28 in benefits. The National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 would yield $10.6 billion in net benefits to U.S. taxpayers in the form of increased tax revenue and decreased spending on public-assistance programs and unemployment insurance.

In July, Wild introduced the bipartisan Early Educators Apprenticeship Act, to simultaneously help meet the demand for early childhood educators while helping empower Americans to return to the workplace and find new career opportunities. The National Apprenticeship Act echoes this effort and emphasizes the importance of apprenticeship programs for high-need social service occupations.

A section-by-section of the bill is available HERE.

Full text of the bill is available HERE.