Congressman Tim Ryan Votes to Support National Apprenticeship Act
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today voted to support the National Apprenticeship Act Reauthorization, a bipartisan bill that was passed last year in the 116th Congress but never taken up by the then Republican-led Senate. This important bill will provide nearly one million new apprenticeship opportunities over the next five years and establish a national framework to expand apprenticeships to new occupations and sectors.
Additionally, the bill includes provisions from Congressman Ryan’s Working on Rewarding and Keeping Employees Resilient (WORKER) Act, a bill he re-introduced last week (H.R. 594) that focuses on workforce development and supporting the American worker. Included in the current bill from Congressman Ryan’s WORKER Act is a provision that the Office of Apprenticeships would operate within the Department of Labor, promote diversity in the apprenticeship programs and ensure equal opportunity for women, people of color, and individuals with barriers to employment. The bill also requires the Department of Education to create a network of higher education institutions that will provide students with academic credit after completing a registered apprenticeship program. Importantly, it also aligns youth apprenticeship programs and high school graduation requirements. Lastly, the bill includes Ryan’s amendment to help ensure apprenticeship opportunities are not just available for high school and college students, but for adults looking to continue their education or to pivot to a new career.
“I believe that apprenticeships can be an effective way to ensure a trained work-force and securing this opportunity could be a game-changer for communities like mine and across the nation,” said Congressman Ryan. “As northeastern Ohio transforms into Voltage Valley and becomes a leader in the production of green energy and electric vehicles, apprenticeships can be a highly effective way to connect workers with stable, good-paying jobs.”
When Congressman Ryan introduced the WORKER Act in 2019, he said, “For being the wealthiest nation on earth, too many Americans are struggling with the realities of everyday life—paying their bills, caring for their family, putting food on the table, and keeping a roof over their head. The future of our economy, and of the American Dream, rests on our ability to alleviate this struggle by innovating and creating new, good-paying jobs where they are needed most.”
The Department of Labor estimates that 94% of people who complete registered apprenticeships are employed upon completion and earn a starting wage of over $70,000 annually. Investments in apprenticeships not only pay off for workers and employers, they also benefit taxpayers. The National Apprenticeship Reauthorization Act of 2021 would yield $10.6 billion in net benefits to U.S. taxpayers in the form of increased tax revenue and decreased spending on public-assistance programs and unemployment insurance.