Last week, Congressman Pete Stauber helped advance the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021, H.R. 447, legislation that will expand our nation’s workforce by investing more than $3.5 billion over a five year period to increase access to registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships.

Stauber helped introduce the bipartisan legislation.

“As our nation works to accelerate our economy, it has become more important than ever to support the trades,” Stauber said in a statement Monday.

“By increasing access to the successful registered apprenticeship program, this legislation will allow more workers to earn while they learn and will deliver more job opportunities during a difficult time. Northern Minnesota has several upcoming projects in mining, healthcare, construction, and other sectors. This vote was a critical step in ensuring these important projects move forward seamlessly. Therefore, I was proud to help advance legislation that will unleash the economic engine in our communities, close the skills gap and help middle class Americans succeed.”

The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 is estimated to create nearly 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities on top of the current expected growth of the apprenticeship system.

According to the Department of Labor, 94 percent of people who complete registered apprenticeships are employed upon completion, earning an average starting wage of above $70,000 annually. Yet, according to recent data, only 0.3 percent of the overall workforce in America have completed an apprenticeship.

This legislation passed the House in the 116th Congress with a vote of 246-140.