Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware; Todd Young, R-Indiana; Jerry Moran, R-Kansas; and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; and Reps. Donald Norcross, D-New Jersey; and David McKinley, R-West Virginia, introduced the Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act of 2019 on March 28.

This bill establishes a new initiative to grow and expand highly successful Apprenticeship Hubs, which are organizations that help employers design, develop and deliver registered apprenticeship programs. The bill addresses the growing skills gap in America and helps businesses provide targeted training to compete in the 21st century economy.

“Apprenticeships are one of the smartest investments we can make because they lead to well-paying jobs, a clear career path, little to no debt, and skills that can be used for a lifetime,” said Coons. “Apprentices earn wages during their training and in many cases are guaranteed a well-paying job when this training is complete. Our bill will help expand registered apprenticeships to a variety of job sectors to create more opportunities for America’s displaced workers and youth to address the growing skills gap in America. This legislation supports important initiatives like the Delaware Pathways program, which helps ensure a strong American workforce into the future.”

A barrier to expanding registered apprenticeships in high growth job sectors outside of the skilled trades is employers’ lack of familiarity with the process to set up and manage registered apprenticeship programs. The act addresses this need by supporting a national network of Apprenticeship Hubs that convenes multiple stakeholders, including local workforce boards, community colleges and employers to help support the expansion of the successful registered apprenticeship model.

Apprenticeship Hubs participate in various activities, such as providing guidance and mentorship of apprentices to ensure retention and completion, working with employers to design the apprenticeship curriculum and navigating the registration process for apprenticeships. The bill also instructs the Department of Labor to conduct national workshops on how to create Apprenticeship Hubs and disseminate best practices on the effective development and implementation of registered apprenticeship programs.

The bill text is available at bit.ly/2WwBw2X.