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November 20, 2020
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the House passed the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 (H.R. 8294) on a bipartisan basis to reauthorize national registered apprenticeship programs and expand access to high-quality apprenticeships to create nearly one million new apprenticeship opportunities.  The bill included a bipartisan amendment from Representative Conor Lamb (PA-17) and Representative Van Taylor (TX-03) to include veterans in the national apprenticeship system.

“Apprenticeships connect workers with good jobs in my District,” said Lamb.  “My bipartisan amendment requires that the bill includes veterans to ensure that they can take advantage of apprenticeships.  This legislation will immediately help people who lost jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), 94 percent of people who complete registered apprenticeship programs are employed upon completion.  However, apprenticeships today only make up a small percentage of the overall workforce.  H.R. 8294 creates a critical bridge to apprenticeship opportunities by authorizing the DOL to award grants to state workforce agencies, local workforce development boards, education and training providers, labor unions and other eligible entities to grow registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships.

Prior to final passage the House adopted an amendment sponsored by Lamb and Taylor to utilize veteran service organizations (VSOs) to help promote and raise awareness about apprenticeship opportunities.  Furthermore, the amendment includes the status of veterans as one of the demographic identifiers to better understand veteran participation in apprenticeship programs.  Tracking veteran involvement in apprenticeship programs will also better equip program providers to ensure veterans are accessing their education benefits.

This legislation is supported by the Union Veterans Council,  American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Jobs for the Future (JFF), Laborers' International Union of North America (LiUNA), National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), National Skills Coalition (NSC), National Taskforce on Tradeswomen’s Issues (TWTF), North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), National Urban League, and Third Way.

Visit Lamb’s website to see him speak on the House floor in support of his amendment, and click here to learn more about the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020.