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Smith’s bill would help expand access to pre-apprenticeship

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 15, 2023) — U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA, 9th) today introduced the Pre-Apprenticeship Wrap-Around Support Services Fund Act, which would help fund transportation, housing, and childcare stipends, pay for lost hourly wages, and cover certification costs for those enrolled in pre-apprenticeships. The bill would increase access to these programs and ultimately give more people a pathway to good-paying, high-quality jobs.

“We must work to ensure that folks across the country — whether they go to college or not — have access to good-paying jobs,” Smith said. “That means expanding access to high-quality job training programs like pre-apprenticeships that prepare workers for in-demand jobs. The bill I’m introducing today would provide stipends to cover costs associated with pre-apprenticeship programs so that more workers can enroll in and complete these programs. The Pre-Apprenticeship Wrap-Around Support Services Fund Act will create more pathways to good-paying, high-quality jobs and give more people a chance at a better life.”

“The Machinists Institute is incredibly grateful to Representative Adam Smith for his support of state-recognized pre-apprenticeship programs,” said Shana Peschek, Executive Director of the Machinists Institute. “Pre-Apprenticeship has proven to be one of the most successful strategies to increase access for communities historically excluded from registered apprenticeship pathways. These students often face significant barriers and Rep. Smith’s bill shows commitment to creating opportunities for individuals to find success in family sustaining, quality jobs and careers.”

“Training the next generation of skilled workers through pre-apprenticeships is the key to keeping Washington state a workforce leader in innovation,” said Jon Holden, President of Machinists District Council 751. “We need allies like U.S. Representative Adam Smith and his sponsorship of bills such as the Pre-Apprenticeship Wrap-around Support Services Fund Act of 2023 to continue this success. IAM District 751 will always support legislation ensuring future workers have the tools needed to carry on our great state’s legacy of training the next generation of workers.”

The Pre-Apprenticeship Wrap-Around Support Services Fund Act will establish a new grant program to fund transportation stipends, pay for lost hourly wages, and cover certification costs for those enrolled in pre-apprenticeships. These grants will expand access to pre-apprenticeships, create new pathways to apprenticeships, and ultimately help hardworking Americans recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.

The Pre-Apprenticeship Wrap-Around Support Services Fund Act:

  • Directs the Secretary of Labor to establish a new grant program which provides stipends to individuals enrolled in pre-apprenticeship programs.
  • Allowable use of stipends includes costs associated with transportation, lost hourly wages, housing, childcare, and certification costs.
  • Eliminates barriers many individuals face when attempting to complete pre-apprenticeship programs.
  • Requires a report to be submitted to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House and Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate on the progress and outcomes of the grant program.

“Education is the beacon of opportunity, and the Pre-Apprenticeship Wrap Around Support Service Act shines a light on the path forward for ANEW’s pre-apprenticeship students facing barriers,” said Karen Dove, Executive Director of ANEW. “This legislation is a vital investment in their future, offering the guidance and resources they need to overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams. In unity, we bridge the gap between education and employment, fostering a brighter, more inclusive future for all.”


ALSO at The StandNational Apprenticeship Week is Nov. 13-19

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