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National Apprenticeship Act of 2020

Floor Speech

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


Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Speaker, I would like to, with the other people, say it was very enjoyable working with Congresswoman Davis. I wish she would have given me a chance before she made a decision to try to convince her to stay here because we are going to miss her.

Apprenticeships are very important. We have a good apprenticeship program in Wisconsin. We are told that, right now, people who complete both the work and classroom requirements of the apprenticeship program have a median income of $80,000. That shows the importance of having a bill like this brought to the floor. And I will tell you, it is not only an $80,000 salary but, I am sure, a much lower debt load than many people who use a 4-year degree.

I think it is important for everybody in this Chamber to continue to emphasize to young people the pathway to a career through apprenticeships, which probably results in more job security, more income, and less debt than other things.

It is with great regret I am going to vote against this bill today.

I do believe that there is such a high demand for what I call skills- based education that it is important we open up alternative avenues to apprenticeships.

We have talked today about a need to recognize the apprenticeship programs. That is certainly one way. It is unfortunate that didn't make it in this bill. I know a lot of effort was made to make this a bipartisan bill, and maybe we can come back in the appropriations process or something and somehow make a few tweaks in there to make it something that would be more bipartisan.

But I am glad the bill is coming this far. It provides us all an opportunity to go back home in our districts and bring it up to young people and tell them about the benefits of apprenticeships and that you are missing something big-time if you don't take advantage of it.