National Apprenticeship Act of 2020
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 8294, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020.
The original National Apprenticeship Act was passed in 1937 and is now over 80 years old. There is no doubt that Congress should update the Apprenticeship Act; however, the legislation being considered today will harm apprenticeships rather than aid workforce development.
H.R. 8294 removes the Department of Labor's ability to administer industry-recognized apprenticeship programs, making only DOL-registered programs available. While DOL-approved programs work for many employers, one-size-fits-all solutions don't work for many industries and are simply not the answer.
Industry-recognized apprenticeship programs are developed by third- party groups that are recognized by the Department of Labor. They are held to high standards to ensure apprentices are receiving the training that they need.
IRAPs have already proven to be successful in helping to expand access to apprenticeships. Somebody argued that IRAPs are harmful because they think it might limit involvement in union-sponsored apprenticeships. What these individuals do not think about are the areas of the country like mine where union-sponsored apprenticeships do not exist or are extremely limited. My home district has none.
Not only does this legislation try to force one-size-fits-all programs on to apprentices and employers while favoring unions, it also drastically increases the amount of bureaucratic red tape placed on States and program sponsors.
Apprenticeship programs are fantastic options for individuals to gain skills and find well-paying jobs and for businesses to grow and expand their workforce. Especially in a year that has greatly affected our workers, we should not pass legislation that threatens to reduce access to workforce development or makes it more difficult to run or establish an apprenticeship program. I urge a ``no'' vote.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT