SEATTLE — U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) introduced the Apprenticeship Futures for All Act today as she builds on her proven track record of increasing access to apprenticeships that provide a proven pathway to the middle class. The legislation accomplishes this while expanding access to registered apprenticeships in high-growth industries—such as cyber security, health care and finance— and helping apprentices successfully complete their programs by partially covering costs for equipment, transportation, childcare and housing. The bill also specifically supports access to apprenticeships for often underrepresented groups including women, people of color, individuals with disabilities and those impacted by the criminal justice system.
“Apprenticeships are an important pathway to the middle class, assisting workers across America in moving into high-skilled, good-paying jobs,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “The Apprenticeship Futures for All Act will not only expand access to apprenticeships but it will knock down barriers that too often keep underrepresented workers from starting, staying in and completing apprenticeships—making this legislation good for workers, good for businesses, good for communities and good for the economy.”
This legislation follows Representative Jayapal’s years of proven leadership and dedicated work on expanding access to apprenticeships across Washington. As a State Senator, she fought to secure more than $5 million for pre-apprenticeship programs that ensure women and people of color have access to good-paying union jobs. Her legislation (SB 5863)—which passed the State Senate in 2015 and was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee—requires the Washington State Department of Transportation to allot funding for pre-apprenticeship programs while also recruiting women and people of color to participate in them. Jayapal’s Washington State Pre-Apprenticeship Support Services Program has yielded impressive results with a graduation rate of 92 percent.
The Apprenticeship Futures for All Act would:
- Authorize the U.S. Department of Labor to provide grants to industry intermediaries to establish or expand apprenticeships. These grants are to be used to
- Build out sector-based apprenticeships in growing sectors such as cyber security, health care and finance
- Expand apprenticeship access and programs to nontraditional apprenticeship populations, including women, people of color, individuals with disabilities and individuals impacted by the criminal or juvenile justice system
- Require these grantees to use at least 5 percent of their grant funds to provide direct financial assistance to apprentices, pre-apprentices and youth apprentices through emergency grants to support their financial needs to enter, remain enrolled in and complete such programs
- Funds may be used for such costs as related costs of supplies and equipment, courses, transportation, child care and housing