Lipinski Introduces Bill to Boost Middle Class with More Pre-Apprenticeship Programs

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) has introduced the Apprenticeship Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 2377) to help expand the use of pre-apprenticeship programs.  This legislation would amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to include pre-apprenticeship programs, which would allow U.S. Department of Labor funds currently distributed to states to be used to help reimburse sponsors of pre-apprenticeship programs in the same manner as they do sponsors of apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeships are a commonly used workforce training model that combines on-the-job experience with classroom instruction.  Registered apprenticeship programs are those that have been certified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship and/or with the state’s apprenticeship agency.  Participants in a Registered Apprenticeship program can expect the typical apprenticeship experience but are ensured a wage, a full-time position, and an industry-wide recognized credential upon successful completion of the program.  The average starting wage for former registered apprentices is $50,000.

“Pre-apprenticeship programs provide potential applicants with the chance to see all that apprenticeships have to offer,” stated Rep. Lipinski.  “Participants receive hands-on training and complete coursework designed to prepare applicants for a Registered Apprenticeship program.  My bill making pre-apprenticeship programs eligible for federal funding that is already available to states will help train more people for good-paying middle-class jobs that they otherwise would not have had an opportunity to attain.”

Although there is widespread political and industry support for registered apprenticeships and the apprenticeship model, a recent study conducted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce predicts that by 2020 there will be a shortage of roughly five million workers with postsecondary credentials in the United States.  Congressman Lipinski’s legislation will help more employers entice applicants to experience their pre-apprenticeship programs, which will ultimately lead to better participation in the rewarding Registered Apprenticeship program. 

Lipinski Apprenticeship Improvement Act of 2017 (05/12/1705:06 PMET )
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