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National Apprenticeship Act of 2020

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 19, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 8294.

For 83 years, the National Apprenticeship Act has helped local economies grow by providing unprecedented career opportunities to young people. However, the National Apprenticeship Act has not supported apprenticeships in the Northern Mariana Islands and other insular areas. That inequity changes today.

H.R. 8294 incorporates my bill, the Outlying Area Apprenticeship Expansion Act, investing more than $11.2 million over 5 years to create and expand apprenticeships to the insular areas. Our schools already provide students with the skills employers seek. But we need to build the connection between the classroom and real-world work. Apprenticeships provide that link.

I thank Congresswoman Davis and Chairman Scott for their leadership on apprenticeships and for working with me to include a technical fix to fully include the insular areas in the act. With widespread unemployment due to the coronavirus, we need to help people get to work. H.R. 8294 will help accomplish that goal.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on H.R. 8294. I am going to miss Chairwoman Susan Davis as well.

Ms. FOXX of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, earlier we heard from our colleagues that there is going to be a $3 return to the American people for every tax dollar they give up to get this program funded in the next 5 years. I want to tell you that I think the American people would be happy to see that return.

Show me any Federal program that returns to hardworking taxpayers $3 for every dollar they pay in, and I will show you some swampland in New Mexico.

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Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, the Titus amendment is simple. It includes hospitality and tourism as an eligible industry for expansion of registered apprenticeship opportunities.

The hospitality and tourism industry is a major source for the Marianas. The GAO's February 2020 report on Economic and Workforce Trends in the Marianas found that hospitality and tourism account for 45 percent of GDP.

We are not unique. The industry is critical to many communities across the Nation, but it is considered a nontraditional industry for apprenticeships and has been unable to take full advantage of the apprenticeship system. The Titus amendment fixes that.

As I stated earlier, for 83 years, the National Apprenticeship Act has helped local economies grow by providing career opportunities to young people. The Titus amendment guarantees that H.R. 8294 will build on that success by ensuring that the apprenticeship system is modernized to address the workforce needs of the 21st century.

I support the Titus amendment and urge my colleagues to vote ``yes.''

I also am grateful that the ranking member is supportive of the Titus amendment. I thank everyone for their consideration, and I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a letter from the American Hotel and Lodging Association. American Hotel & Lodging Association, November 18, 2020. Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, House of Representatives, Washington, DC. Hon. Kevin McCarthy, Republican Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy: On behalf of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry, including iconic global brands, hotel owners and franchisees, lodging real estate investment trusts (REITs), hotel management companies, independent properties, bed and breakfasts, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers, I write in support of H.R. 8294, National Apprenticeship Act of 2020. This important legislation would expand the national apprenticeship system to include nontraditional apprenticeship industries and create a grant program to support registered apprenticeship, pre- apprenticeship, and youth apprenticeship programs. AHLA also strongly supports the bipartisan amendment offered by Representatives Dina Titus (NV-1) and Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) that would specifically identify the hospitality and tourism industries as a nontraditional apprenticeship industry under Sec. 201 of the Act.

Prior to the pandemic, filling service positions was one of the hospitality industry's most significant challenges. According to the Department of Labor (DOL), it was estimated that nearly one million job vacancies remained unfilled. In order to meet the needs of the industry, AHLA and the AHLA Foundation, the charitable giving arm of the association, are developing innovative programs that invest in our workforce and are designed to open opportunities for underprivileged communities, build careers, and strengthen the lodging industry. The National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 would enable our Foundation to achieve this mission through grant programs specifically targeted to our industry. Additionally, the legislation updates the National Apprenticeship Act to provide the flexibility we need to reflect modem practices while maintaining the high standards set forth by DOL.

On behalf of the more than 33,000 small business hotels, which represents over half of hotels in the country, and the millions of associates they employ, I urge the House of Representatives to swiftly pass H.R. 8294 and provide nontraditional apprenticeship industries, like the hospitality and tourism sectors, an avenue to continue to grow our workforce and support our communities. Thank you for your consideration of this critical matter. Sincerely, Brian Crawford, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs.

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