DeLauro, Murray Urge Labor Secretary Acosta to Continue Apprenticeship Funding for Workers
WASHINGTON, DC (October 13, 2017) — Today, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, respectively, sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta warning him against efforts to divert funding from, or weaken the value of, the registered apprenticeship program in favor of unregistered apprenticeships as proposed by the Trump Administration.
In an executive order, President Trump proposed the creation of a low-quality, non-registered apprenticeship program that would undermine the existing, high-quality registered apprenticeship program that is benefitting businesses and workers alike. Currently, there are more than half a million workers obtaining the skills they need to succeed while earning wages necessary for financial security through this model. The Administration is also considering weakening federal guidelines on apprenticeships. Congresswoman DeLauro and Senator Murray voiced concern these actions could allow unqualified employers to take advantage of federal funding without meaningful protections, transferrable credentials, and wage gains for workers.
“We are deeply concerned by the Trump Administration’s recent steps to undermine high-quality apprenticeship programs, potentially opening the door to allow corporations taking advantage of their workers,” wrote DeLauro and Murray.
In the FY 2016 Appropriations bill, Democrats and Republicans in Congress came together in order to fund registered apprenticeships for the first time. This has been a bipartisan priority, but the Trump Administration threatens both the effectiveness and economic benefits of this program.
“We strongly caution your Department against circumventing and undermining the registered apprenticeship program that Congress created,” wrote DeLauro and Murray. “It is critical to focus federal dollars where there is strong evidence and a return on investment, rather than on a duplicative system that does not guarantee quality training opportunities and provides fewer safeguards for workers and employers.”
Full text of letter can be found HERE.