On Friday, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) voted to advance the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 to expand the successful Registered Apprenticeship program and create nearly 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities over the next five years.
“As the country faces a deepening economic crisis, I am proud to support legislation that will invest in American workers, provide more opportunity for skills training, and create good-paying jobs in our communities,” said Rep. Axne. “Apprenticeship programs are important tools to provide economic opportunity and hands-on training for workers, and 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 2020 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.
The measure passed by the House today is the first-ever reauthorization of the National Apprenticeship Act since its original enactment in 1937.