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U.S. House Passes Major Workforce Development Legislation, Including Spanberger’s Bill to Strengthen Apprenticeship Opportunities

The Congresswoman’s Strengthening Our Youth Apprenticeships Act Would Expand Opportunity for Central Virginia Students

Today, the U.S. House voted to pass major legislation focused on strengthening apprenticeship programs and expanding workforce development opportunities. The National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 includes Spanberger-led initiatives to create a new apprenticeship agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education, and to strengthen funding for successful partnerships between community colleges and local businesses.

“In Central Virginia and across the country, apprenticeships help the next generation of Americans acquire the necessary skills to launch their careers and stay competitive in a global economy. Even after the wave of this pandemic passes, the economic impact on working families across our country will linger,” said Spanberger. “We need to make sure high school and college students have access to the apprenticeship programs they need to secure employment. I’m proud to see several of the provisions I worked on included in this final bill, and I will continue to support practical legislation that strengthens the relationships between Virginia’s community colleges, high schools, and local employers.”

Spanberger introduced the bipartisan Strengthening Our Youth Apprenticeships Act last month, alongside U.S. Representatives Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY-02). Her legislation was included in the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, which passed the House today.

The legislation would invest in youth apprenticeship programs in Central Virginia and across the country. Spanberger’s provisions were endorsed by New America, Advance Career Technical Education, and the Association for Career and Technical Education.

BACKGROUND

Since taking office, Spanberger has worked to strengthen support for workforce training programs and expand opportunity for Seventh District students.

In December 2019, Spanberger and U.S. Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) introduced a bipartisan bill to allow Virginia students and workers to use their 529 savings accounts to cover the cost of certain training and credentialing programs.

In November 2019, Spanberger backed bipartisan legislation that would expand Pell Grant eligibility for qualifying short-term programs and give more Central Virginia students access to workforce training courses.

During her two-day education tour in October 2019, Spanberger met with instructors and administrators at Chesterfield Career and Technical Center’s Hull campus, and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s Goochland campus, to learn more about local workforce development programs and hear directly about the support they need at the federal level.

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