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Guthrie Introduces ‘Strengthening Our Youth Apprenticeships Act’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02), along with Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20) and Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), today introduced the Strengthening Our Youth Apprenticeships Act of 2020.

“Apprenticeships are a great way for employees to learn a new skill while earning a wage, and for students, an apprenticeship can set them on the right trajectory for a good career,” said Guthrie, who is the co-chair of the Congressional Apprenticeship Caucus. “Our economy is rapidly evolving, and one thing I hear from employers in the Second District is that they need skilled employees. The Strengthening Our Youth Apprenticeship Act will help facilitate the creation of apprenticeship programs for younger employees and provide supportive services such as career planning.  I was proud to join Reps. Castro and Spanberger to introduce this bipartisan legislation to help high school and college students obtain apprenticeship opportunities.”

The Strengthening Our Youth Apprenticeships Act of 2020 would create an interagency agreement between the Secretaries of Labor and Education that would provide publicly available guidance and best practices to support youth apprenticeship programs in both secondary and postsecondary education programs. The bill would also fund a necessary expansion of apprenticeship programs, including partnerships with community colleges and industry.

“Apprenticeships are an important avenue for young people to gain new skills and get a sense of what job they may pursue, but they should also be an opportunity to gain college credit and a steppingstone to a higher-paying career. The Strengthening Our Youth Apprenticeships Act will help ensure that we build a strong infrastructure of opportunity in America for the next generation to reach their dreams,” said Congressman Castro. “The future of our economy depends on our future workforce — that’s why it’s vital for the Department of Labor and Education to work together to strengthen apprenticeships and for Congress to expand these programs to more young people.”

“Across Virginia, local apprenticeships provide opportunities for the next generation to learn the skills necessary to secure high-skilled jobs and stay competitive in a global economy. As we work toward our long-term economic recovery, we need to make sure high school and college students are able to access these programs,” said Congresswoman Spanberger. “Our federal agencies should work together toward achieving this goal, and our bipartisan legislation builds much-needed collaboration between the Department of Labor and the Department of Education. I’d like to thank Congressman Castro and Congressman Guthrie for recognizing the importance of strengthening youth apprenticeship programs, and I look forward to building stronger, sustained relationships between community colleges, high schools, and local businesses.”

Apprenticeships are a growing interest for both businesses, schools, and states. The Registered Apprenticeship program at the Department of Labor has grown immensely in the past few years, and schools are pursuing apprenticeship programs in order to better guide students toward much-needed, middle-class jobs. This youth apprenticeship bill will help high school students start thinking about different career options and ensure high schools have the tools they need to guide their students toward an industry-need, middle class career. Additionally, since the bill links high schools with community colleges, students can start obtaining college credits that they can use if they decide to pursue higher education.

You can view the full legislative text here