September 08, 2017

Sánchez, Fitzpatrick, Kilmer, LoBiondo, Thompson Introduce Bill to Jumpstart American Apprenticeship

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, along with Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02), and Mike Thompson (CA-05) today introduced the bipartisan Apprenticeship and Jobs Training Act of 2017 to enhance training and education opportunities for American workers through registered apprenticeships. Apprenticeship programs have been an integral part of America’s workforce development, allowing workers to increase their skills while also earning a paycheck. This legislation is the House companion to the bill introduced earlier this year by Senators Maria Cantwell and Susan Collins.

Full text of the legislation is available here.

Substantive apprenticeship programs are an integral part of the quality education that leads to good paying American jobs. A skilled workforce is a critical component to a continued productive economy, but in recent decades employers have been experiencing a shortage of properly trained, available workers.

Apprenticeship programs are a proven tool for workers to learn advanced skills while also earning a paycheck. The bill would create a $5,000 tax credit based upon wages paid by companies who hire individuals enrolled in a federal or state registered apprenticeship program. For employers participating in a multi-employer apprenticeship program, the credit rate would be $3 per hour each individual works. A worker must be employed for 7 months before the credit can be claimed and can be claimed as the apprentice works through the program for a maximum of three years. The bill also allows veterans to apply their previous skills and experience towards education hours so they can be put to use more quickly.

“In today’s global economy there are more ways to succeed than ever before,” said Representative Linda T Sánchez. “The Apprenticeship and Jobs Training Act would ensure that more hard-working Americans are able to learn the skills necessary to compete for good paying jobs in today’s most in-demand industries. Expanding apprenticeship programs will help our middle class thrive by closing our skills gap and raising household wages.”

“Apprenticeship programs grow our economy by fostering training programs that will prepare workers for in-demand careers,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. By closing the skills gap, this bipartisan program will encourage more good-paying jobs for working families, while addressing our nation’s current shortage of trained workers.  I am proud to work with Congresswoman Sanchez on this bipartisan legislation to enhance America’s workforce and bring robust job growth to Bucks and Montgomery Counties.”

“Apprenticeships empower workers to get on-the-job training without breaking the bank,” Rep. Derek Kilmer said. “In a rapidly changing economy this is a key path to learning a new skill and earning a decent wage. I’m proud to be part of this effort to create new opportunities for local employers to invest in our workforce and create quality jobs through apprenticeships.”

“As we seek to bolster American job creation and lower unemployment, encouraging apprenticeships will help build the skilled workforce our country needs to compete in the global economy,” said Rep. Frank LoBiondo. “Given the needs for well-trained workers in many fields, this bipartisan legislation would provide opportunities for individuals seeking additional education and experience to further their careers.”

“Apprenticeship programs have consistently proven to be successful models of both career and workforce development, creating opportunities for workers and companies,” said Rep. Mike Thompson. “By allowing workers to earn a living while learning a trade, companies are able to create more jobs and build out their business. This bill would create greater incentives for companies to expand apprenticeship programs and would ensure veterans can apply their relevant military training to their apprenticeships.”