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Workforce training bill boosting apprenticeship programs passes House

(© W. Scott McGill –

A bill boosting youth apprenticeship programs as part of a strategy to increase workforce development opportunities passed the U.S. House this week.

The Strengthening Our Youth Apprenticeships Act, introduced by Seventh District Democrat Abigail Spanberger, would create a new interagency apprenticeship agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education that would have them sharing publicly available guidance and best practices to support youth apprenticeship programs in both secondary and postsecondary education institutions.

Spanberger and Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20) reintroduced this bill earlier this week.

“Apprenticeships give Central Virginians the opportunity to pick up skills that will help them secure future employment. Amid the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, these programs must be a part of our long-term strategy to keep the American workforce competitive in a global economy,” Spanberger said. “I’m proud to see my provisions pass as part of this larger package, and I’m hopeful that this practical legislation can strengthen relationships between Virginia’s employers, community colleges, and high schools. Even after this pandemic ends, the economic impacts of the crisis on working families will linger – and we can take steps now to make sure the next generation of workers is primed for success.”

The bill was passed by a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House as part of the National Apprenticeship Act, which Spanberger cosponsored. This larger package supports the creation or expansion of registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeship programs – including in non-traditional apprenticeship occupations and for individuals impacted by the criminal justice system and individuals with disabilities.

augusta free press
augusta free press