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MEDIA ADVISORY: HELP Committee to Hold Markup on Bipartisan Apprenticeship and Other Workforce Development Legislation

WASHINGTON, July 25 – The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Thursday, July 27 will hold a markup of critical bipartisan legislation to expand high-quality economic opportunities for workers across the country through apprenticeships and other workforce development programs.

Currently, there are nearly 27,000 registered apprenticeship programs in the United States serving more than 600,000 apprentices. This package of legislation would create up to 1 million new earn-as-you-learn opportunities that help apprentices receive a nationally recognized portable credential and gain workplace-relevant skills and mentorship in the field of their choice. Apprentices have a 93 percent employment retention rate and average a $300,000 lifetime earning advantage over other workers. They also often take on marginal if any debt, as most training costs are covered by an employer or union, while 65 percent of students graduating with a bachelor’s degree have student loan debt averaging $34,100.

In particular, this package would expand high-quality apprenticeship programs for young people, allowing them to begin programs while they are in high school. American apprentices are, on average, 29 years old – much older than other countries like Germany and Austria where most apprentices begin at age 16.

The four bills that the committee will be voting on are:

  1. The National Apprenticeship Act, led by Sens. Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Murkowski (R-Alaska), supports the creation or expansion of registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeship programs, including in nontraditional apprenticeship occupations and for nontraditional populations.
  2. The Youth Apprenticeship Advancement Act, led by Sens. Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Braun (R-Ind.), supports the expansion of youth apprenticeship opportunities for students enrolled in high school by investing $500 million over 5 years to help create over 100,000 new youth apprenticeships.
  3. The Gateways To Careers Act, led by Sens. Hassan (D-N.H.) and Collins (R-Maine), creates a grant program to strengthen job training by supporting workforce partnerships between community colleges, industry, and other community organizations.
  4. The Jumpstarting Our Business by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act, led by Sens. Kaine (D-Va.) and Braun (R-Ind.), expands Pell Grant eligibility to students enrolled in short-term (at least 150 hours over 8 weeks) job training programs that lead to industry recognized credentials and certificates.

Senate HELP Committee Markup
     S. 2122, National Apprenticeship Act of 2023 
     S. 2363, Youth Apprenticeship Advancement Act
     S. 161, JOBS Act of 2023
     S. 2402, Gateway to Careers Act of 2023

When: 10:00 a.m. ET, Thursday, July 27, 2023
Where: 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building. The Executive Session will also be livestreamed on the HELP Committee’s website.
Who: Senate HELP Committee Members