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Congresswoman Escobar Votes to Pass the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021

This bipartisan legislation includes Congresswoman Escobar’s amendment to enable the inclusion of Job Corps Centers – including the David L. Carrasco Job Corps Center – and provide young El Pasoans a pathway into the middle class.

Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) voted to pass H.R. 447, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021. This bipartisan legislation 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.

The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 includes an amendment offered by Congresswoman Escobar to add Job Corps to the list of Education and Training Providers, which allows El Paso’s David L. Carrasco Job Corps Center and other Job Corps centers to qualify for apprenticeship grants or contracts, and encourages the consideration of Job Corps as an education and training partner as apprenticeships are being developed. Additionally, the amendment allows apprentices, pre-apprentices, or youth apprentices to use emergency grant funding to obtain internet access.

“As our nation faces one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, Congress must respond with bold investments to help workers get back on their feet and build back a better economy,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 is a smart investment that would provide young El Pasoans a pathway to the middle class and create the pipeline of talented workers that employers and our economy need.”

Currently, the U.S. spends only about 0.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on workforce training and employment programs, while our peer industrialized nations spend roughly six times as much as a share of GDP. The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 will begin to bring America’s investments in apprenticeship opportunities more in line with countries around the world. This legislation:

  • Authorizes $400 million for fiscal year (FY) 2022, increasing by $100 million annually to $800 million for FY 2026.
  • 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.
  • Codifies the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Apprenticeship, including roles and responsibilities.
  • Codifies the roles and responsibilities of the State Apprenticeship Agencies (SAAs).
    to include.
  • Strengthens the connections between the Department of Education and Department of Labor through an interagency agreement to support the creation and expansion of youth apprenticeships, college consortiums, and data sharing agreements.

The text for Congresswoman’s amendment is available here and a fact sheet on the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 here.

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