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Reps. Lipinski and Davis Join Aon Apprentices to Announce Bipartisan Bill to Reinvigorate America's Apprenticeship Programs (May 10, 2017)

Today, Reps. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) and Rodney Davis (IL-13) visited with apprentices from Aon in Chicago and announced their bipartisan bill to reinvigorate America’s apprenticeship programs. They recently reintroduced the Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs (LEAP) Act (H.R. 2399), which uses tax incentives to encourage more companies to offer apprenticeship programs.

“Apprenticeships provide highly valuable opportunities to combine learning in the classroom with learning on the job while earning a paycheck,” stated Rep. Lipinski. “If we can get more people into apprenticeships, we can make a great difference in their lives while also helping businesses find the skilled employees they need. I am very impressed with Aon’s apprenticeship program and their apprentices, and the LEAP Act will help more businesses follow their lead.”

“Reducing college debt has been a focus of mine since coming to Congress and apprenticeships can help with this,” said Rep. Davis. “For example, the apprentices at Aon learn valuable workplace skills while also attending college classes to complete an associate’s degree. At the end of the program, these young men and women have a job and a college degree that didn’t require any student loans. We want more companies to utilize apprenticeships, not only to help reduce college debt, but also to help retrain our workforce. The LEAP Act will help us accomplish this important, bipartisan goal.”

“Apprenticeships are a proven model for training and building a career,” said Bridget Gainer, Vice President of Global Affairs at Aon. “It's time to make apprenticeships look more like today's economy.”

Key details of the LEAP Act include:

  • Offering a federal tax credit for hiring new apprentices that are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency.
  • Addressing the fact that the average age of apprentices is currently as high as 29 by offering a tax credit of $1,500 for apprentices under 25. The tax credit for apprentices over 25 is $1,000.
  • Being fully paid for through an offset: cutting printing waste by barring the federal government from producing publications that are available online with an exception for seniors, Medicare recipients, and communities with limited internet access.

Aon apprenticeship details:

  • Aon created an apprenticeship program and has urged peers across the industry to follow their lead in order to close the training gap.
  • Apprentices are trained in account management, client support, financial analysis, and technology.
  • Aon will hire 25 apprentices each year for the next four years.
  • Apprentices are paid for full-time work, even though some of their time is spent in class.
  • Participants get an education – graduating with an associate’s degree from Harold Washington College, which Aon covers the cost.
  • Apprentices will graduate with industry-recognized apprenticeship experience, in addition to an associate’s degree.

Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have reintroduced companion legislation in the Senate.