WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) voted to pass the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021, a bill investing more than $3.5 billion to create 1 million new Registered Apprenticeship, youth apprenticeship, and pre-apprenticeship positions over the next five years. Congresswoman Hayes is a co-lead of the bipartisan bill.
“After teaching high school for 15 years, I am acutely aware that a four-year degree is not the only pathway to success. Young people, workers displaced by COVID-19, and adults looking to change careers need options outside of a bachelor’s degree for all communities to have equitable access to opportunity. These options are exponentially more crucial during a sustained economic downturn in which young people, women, and underserved communities face disproportionate job loss,” said Congresswoman Hayes.
“The Registered Apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and youth apprenticeship opportunities provided by the National Apprenticeship Act are proven to prepare workers for the high wage, high skill jobs of tomorrow through paid, on-the-job training and a nationally recognized credential. They will support small businesses by creating a workforce equipped with the necessary skills on day one.
“With thousands of Connecticut residents forced onto unemployment due to COVID-19, it is essential we invest in getting people back to work. The National Apprenticeship Act is a crucial first step to ending this crisis, and I am pleased to have led this bill with my colleagues on the Education and Labor Committee.”
The legislation governs the Registered Apprenticeships (RAs) system at the United States Department of Labor, the country’s most successful federally authorized workforce development program. According to the Department, 94 percent of people who complete RAs are employed upon completion, earning an average starting wage of over $70,000 annually. The National Apprenticeship Act would save American taxpayers an estimated $10.6 billion in the form of increased tax revenue from higher worker pay and productivity and decreased spending on public-assistance programs and unemployment insurance.
The National Apprenticeship Act:
- Authorizes $400 million for fiscal year (FY) 2022, increasing by $100 million annually to $800 million for FY 2026, to:
- Support the creation or expansion of registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships and pre apprenticeship programs, including in non-traditional apprenticeship occupations and for nontraditional populations.
- Encourage employer participation and recruitment for individuals with barriers to employment, including individuals impacted by the criminal justice system.
- Support national industry and equity intermediaries, and intermediaries at the regional or local level.
- Establish or expand educational alignment with programs under the national apprenticeship system.
- Codifies and streamlines standards for registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeship and pre apprenticeship programs, including requirements for apprenticeship agreements and program registration to ensure consistency in quality standards and worker protections.
- Codifies existing regulations and practices to ensure that all individuals have an equal opportunity to participate in programs under the national apprenticeship system, and to increase diversity in the occupations offered and the individuals participating in programs, especially in high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand industry sectors and occupations.
Rep. Jahana Hayes has been a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.
Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.