Congresswoman Barbara Lee Applauds the Passage of the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today released the following statement of support for H.R. 8294, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, upon its adoption by the House of Representatives This legislation will grant $3.9 billion over five years to expand registered apprenticeships through grants and modify the approval process for apprenticeship programs. 

The U.S. is facing a dire economic crisis, with more than 11.1 million unemployed and an estimated 7 million of the permanent job losses during the pandemic.  

This legislation will help create 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities on top of the current expected growth of the apprenticeship system. It would also yield $10.6 billion in benefits to U.S. taxpayers in the form of increased workers productivity and decreased spending on public-assistance programs and unemployment insurance. 

 It’s critical that we equip our workforce with the tools necessary to thrive in an evolving economy, especially as we fight back our current health and economic crisis,” said Congresswoman Lee. It is now more important than ever that we open new doors for workers—especially young people just entering the job market.  Investing in registered apprenticeship programs is one of the most effective ways to prepare workers for careers in highly skilled professions.  I am proud to cosponsor this legislation, which will expand economic opportunities for families across race and socioeconomic status across the country.”   

Registered Apprenticeships (RAs) provide workers with paid, on-the-job training and are the most successful federal workforce training programs. According to the Department of Labor, 94 percent of people who complete RAs are employed upon completion and earn a starting wage of more than $70,000 a year. 

Read the full text of the bill online here.