On March 4, the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment held a hearing entitled “Reauthorizing the National Apprenticeship Act: Strengthening and Growing Apprenticeships for the 21st Century.” The National Apprenticeship Act, also known as the Fitzgerald Act, has not been reauthorized since its enactment in 1937 and the Subcommittee released a discussion draft bill to reauthorize the act ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.
The bill seeks to only address registered apprenticeship programs, and while ABC understands registered programs are an important component to providing the construction industry with the workforce it needs to thrive, it is critical that the subcommittee considers the input from the private construction industry that contributes $1.6 billion annually to craft, leadership and safety education for construction employees.
ABC is committed to working with lawmakers to ensure that the reauthorization provides more flexibility while modernizing the current registered apprenticeship program to work better for the entire construction industry, not just union labor.
Also, during the hearing, Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson highlighted the important work being done by the ABC Metro Washington Chapter in providing pre-apprenticeship opportunities incarcerated individuals to prepare them to become productive contributors to their communities.
Watch the hearing video here!