Senate Bill Proposes Creating a Robust National Apprenticeship College Consortium
In late May, Senators Klobuchar (D-MN) and Moran (R-KS) introduced the “Apprenticeships to College Act,” which aims to promote the adoption of apprenticeship programs in the United States. The bill would require the Secretaries of Labor and Education to enter into an interagency agreement to promote the integration of programs under the national apprenticeship system and create a more robust Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium of postsecondary educational institutions, instruction providers, sponsors, intermediaries, and employers.
The new legislation is part of a continued effort to revamp the nation’s apprenticeship system after President Biden overturned many of the changes made during the Trump Administration. Under the current Administration, the Department of Labor has announced $487.5 million in federal grants to expand apprenticeships, $40 million of which is specifically allocated for programs seeking to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within their programs.
This bill comes just two months after Senator Klobuchar introduced another bill aimed at expanding apprenticeship programs. On March 30, 2021, Senator Klobuchar reintroduced the “American Apprenticeships Act”—legislation to provide tuition assistance programs for participants in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.
“Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with relevant academic instruction, making for a win-win situation for workers and employers,” Klobuchar said. “Our bipartisan bill would create and strengthen tuition programs for those who participate in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs to help workers bridge the skills gap into 21st century careers and find fulfilling work during and following the pandemic.”