Langevin Applauds President Obama's Plan to Expand Apprenticeships

Apr 21, 2016 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Education

Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), who co-chairs the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, voiced his support today for President Obama’s plan to invest $90 million in expanding apprenticeships in the United States through the ApprenticeshipUSA program.

“Hands-on learning and on-the-job training are proven methods for creating a highly-skilled, qualified, and competitive workforce, which is the foundation for a strong and growing economy. For existing businesses to grow and new businesses to flourish, they need the right talent for the job, and that comes when we invest in workforce development,” said Langevin. “Apprenticeships ensure that workers are career-ready, and provide a pathway to employment for both young people and also those who are reentering the workforce after being retrained in an in-demand industry.”

Since 2014, the United States has added more than 75,000 new apprenticeships. Through this additional support of ApprenticeshipUSA, $60 million will go toward supporting state strategies to expand apprenticeships, including funding for regional industry partnerships. The remaining $30 million will be used to catalyze industry partnerships in fast-growing and high-tech industries, with an emphasis on organizations that increase diversity.

For his part, Langevin has been a vocal advocate for career and technical education, and for robust CTE funding. Along with his CTE Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), Langevin successfully included an amendment into the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that encourages states applying for Title I funds to show how they would use those funds to provide apprenticeships for academic credit, and also to provide comprehensive career counseling.

“Education is about preparing students for the future, and that important work doesn’t only happen in a classroom. It happens in the field, on the job, where students of all ages can immerse themselves in a career and fully explore the opportunities that await them,” Langevin continued. “Strong apprenticeship programs are critical to closing the skills gap and I applaud President Obama for making this tremendous investment in America’s workforce.”