Axne-Backed Bill to Create Jobs, Expand Apprenticeships Advances to Senate
Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) joined a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to advance the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 to the U.S. Senate, a measure that she co-sponsored earlier this year.
The legislation would expand the Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program and create nearly 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities over the next five years.
“We are facing an economic recession on top of this pandemic. Now more than ever, we need to connect hardworking Americans to in-demand, high-paying jobs,” said Rep. Axne. “Apprenticeship programs not only provide the training for good-paying jobs available all across the country, but they also often pay apprentices to learn these skills. For Americans struggling right now, this bill will provide economic opportunity and hands-on training. I want to see every Iowan with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century and provide for their families.”
The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 invests more than $3.5 billion over the next five years to expand apprenticeship opportunities, including creating a new $400 billion grant program to support the expansion of apprenticeship programs, pre-apprenticeships, and youth apprenticeship programs.
Registered Apprenticeships (RAs) – which provide workers with paid, on-the-job training – are the nation’s most successful federal workforce training program. According to the Department of Labor, 94 percent of people who complete RAs are employed upon completion, earning an average starting wage of more than $70,000 annually. The legislation will streamline standards to increase access and participation and expand to new industry sectors. Additionally, the legislation will result in $10.6 billion in net benefits to taxpayers due to increased revenue and decreased spending on public assistance programs and unemployment insurance.
Rep. Axne voted for the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 in November, but the Senate failed to take up the measure before the end of the year.
Axne has also supported legislation to provide funding for career pathways programs in K-12 schools, expand Pell Grants to job training programs, and establish funding for dual enrollment programs with an emphasis on supporting rural communities.
Last year, Rep. Axne introduced legislation to expand skills training opportunities for members of the National Guard and Reserve.