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National Apprenticeship Act of 2020

Floor Speech

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

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Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to H.R. 8294. I, too, come from the construction industry, which I learned from the ground up, and I know firsthand how apprenticeships provide our workforce with a unique opportunity to gain valuable skills that are needed to secure a good-paying job and a long-lasting career.

The reason apprenticeships are so successful is because employers know exactly what skills are in demand. That is why we must encourage more employer-led innovation in the apprenticeship space.

This legislation denies workers and employers autonomy to create programs that are responsive to workforce needs. This shortsighted bill would undo the Department of Labor's industry-recognized apprenticeship programs created under President Trump. This program provides companies an alternative avenue to train skilled workers and develop apprenticeship programs for their specific industry needs.

This year has already been tough on our employers with COVID-19, devastating businesses across the country, and the last thing we need is to impose more bureaucratic red tape and requirements.

I am disappointed that my Democrat colleagues are pushing a plan that would put these job-filling programs in jeopardy and prevent more workers from accessing these opportunities.

I believe that this is a space for bipartisanship, and I urge my colleagues to oppose this flawed approach and work with us to encourage innovation and flexibility.

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