House Passes Apprenticeship Legislation, With Restrictions on the Programs Eligible for New Federal Support

On February 5, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021, a bill that would provide nearly $4 billion to expand registered apprenticeships through grants and modify the approval process for apprenticeship programs. Importantly, the bill elevates the role of registered apprenticeship, makes it a national priority, and aligns workforce programs across multiple federal agencies. However, the bill includes language that would bar access to the new grant opportunities to programs that do not partner with a labor union. AGC supports all bona fide and high-quality apprenticeship programs that are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor and believes they should all be eligible for grant opportunities under the bill. An amendment to clarify all registered apprenticeship programs would be eligible for grants failed despite AGC voicing support for the amendment. The legislation needs to be approved by the U.S. Senate before becoming law. There is no timeframe for Senate consideration at this time and AGC will continue to advocate for modifications of the bill.

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