During National Apprenticeship Week, Pingree Votes to Expand Funding for Apprenticeship Programs
Washington, November 20, 2020
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today joined her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass H.R. 8294, the National Apprenticeship Act. The legislation reauthorizes and invests in the Registered Apprenticeship system, America’s most successful federal workforce development program. The bill passed 246 to 140.
“94% of people who complete registered apprenticeships get hired and earn an average starting wage of above $70,000 annually, but there are still too many barriers to access,” said Pingree. “This legislation will help create nearly a million new apprenticeship opportunities, including in high-demand industries like manufacturing, energy, and health care. As we continue to grapple with record unemployment in Maine and across the country, these solid middle-class jobs are more important now than ever. I’m proud to support this new federal investment.”
The National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 invests more than $3.5 billion over 5 years in expanding opportunities and access to Registered Apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships. The proposal would create nearly 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities on top of the current expected growth of the apprenticeship system. It would also yield $10.6 billion in net benefits to U.S. taxpayers in the form of increased workers productivity and decreased spending on public-assistance programs and unemployment insurance.
H.R. 8294 reauthorizes the National Apprenticeship Act to provide $3.5 billion over five years to scale up apprenticeship opportunities, set quality standards for recognized apprenticeships, and codify the Office of Apprenticeship within the U.S. Department of Labor.