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National Apprenticeship Act of 2020

Floor Speech

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

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Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of my amendment with Representative Ayanna Pressley. This amendment works to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access registered apprenticeships on an equal basis with their nondisabled peers.

Three cogent facts: The workforce participation rate for people with disabilities is still less than one-third that of nondisabled peers; number two, among people with disabilities actively seeking work, the unemployment rate is twice that of nondisabled workers; and number three, people with disabilities are less likely to have meaningful access to participate in apprenticeship programs.

This amendment ensures that individuals with disabilities will be able to access apprenticeship programs that will help them develop the skills and build a work history that will open doors to their future.

This can also help employers understand the value of this workforce and learn from experience that accommodating a disabled employee is usually a simple, inexpensive process that benefits the employee, the employer, and, ultimately, all of us who benefit from having an engaged and diverse workforce.

I thank Representative Susan Davis for this bill and the leadership of our chairman, Bobby Scott.

Ms. FOXX of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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