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U.S. Congressman & IBEW Member Donald Norcross Introduces The National Apprenticeship Act Of 2020, Which Would Expand Apprenticeships & Investment In Workforce Training

Published Tuesday, September 22, 2020
by Labor News Services & Staff
U.S. Congressman & IBEW Member Donald Norcross Introduces The National Apprenticeship Act Of 2020, Which Would Expand Apprenticeships & Investment In Workforce Training

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is thanking and commending U.S. Representative Donald Norcross (Democrat-New Jersey), who is a Member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), for drafting, sponsoring and introducing the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020.

The legislation includes: The PATH Act, to set up Pre-Apprenticeship Programs for economically-underserved communities; the Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act, to expand highly-successful Apprenticeship Hubs; the 21st Century Energy Workforce Act, to incentivize training for skilled energy industry jobs; and the Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunities Act, to promote the skills necessary to work in the Offshore Wind Industry, which is growing in the State of New Jersey.

“As the ‘rapid changes in our workplaces have shown us, the kind of intense, hands-on training that only an Apprenticeship can give is the path to well-paying employment and job security.’  Apprenticeships ‘lead to good jobs and good jobs, especially good Union jobs, build up the Middle Class that is the heart of New Jersey and America,’” New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech said.  “Congressman Norcross’s ‘forward-thinking package of bills expands the huge success story of Apprenticeships in today’s workplace and beyond.’”

U.S. Department of Labor statistics show that 94% of Apprentices who finish Registered Apprenticeships are employed upon completion, earning an average annual starting wage above $70,000.

Yet, the most recent data shows only 0.3% of the overall workforce in America has completed an Apprenticeship.

Norcross - alongside Congresswoman Susan Davis and Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott - introduced a proposal to reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act - which would create nearly one million new Registered Apprenticeship, Youth Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship positions over the next five years.

The National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 invests nearly $3.5 billion over five years to scale-up Apprenticeship opportunities, streamline access to Apprenticeships for Workers and employers, and expand Apprenticeships into new in-demand industry sectors and occupations.

“As an (Union) Electrician, ‘I know first-hand that education and job training is not one-size-fits-all.’  A Registered Apprenticeship Program ‘shaped my life - laying the foundation for me to go from construction work to Congress,’” said Congressman Norcross, the only Electrician in Congress. “When a child is born, ‘you don’t know if they’ll want to go to college, build the college or even defend the college, and we must support each child equally.’  ‘We need Construction Workers and Computer Programmers, just like we need Doctors, Judges and First Responders - and this bill will provide Apprenticeship opportunities for countless students and future Workers, while strengthening the successful models developed by the Registered Apprenticeship Program.’”

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