Washington D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed the National Apprenticeship Act (H.R. 447) on a bipartisan basis to support the creation and expansion of registered apprenticeship, youth apprenticeship, and pre-apprenticeship programs. The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 will create nearly one million new apprenticeship opportunities, including in growing sectors like health care, IT, and financial services.

The bill includes an amendment introduced by Congresswoman Ross that would direct additional resources to support the recruitment of nontraditional populations and dislocated workers – including people of color, women, and the many people who are currently unemployed. This is Congresswoman Ross’ first amendment.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged our economy. With one million North Carolinians filling for unemployment since March, we need to combat this virus and get folks back to work,” said Congresswoman Ross. “I’m proud to support the National Apprenticeship Act, which offers and expands job training opportunities. I’m also pleased that this bill includes my amendment to provide additional resources to support the recruitment of minorities, women and many people who are currently unemployed. Not only will these apprenticeships help to break down the historic inequities built into career development and advancement system, but they will provide a direct path for people to get back on their feet.”

Dr. Howze, Executive Director of Apprenticeship of Wake Tech Community College said, “I enthusiastically support H.R. 447, and I am confident that this legislation will bolster apprenticeship programs in non-traditional sectors across the country. Wake Technical Community College is fully committed to expanding apprenticeships in Wake County, NC, in an effort to create economic mobility. I thank Congresswoman Ross for introducing an amendment to ensure this bill provides adequate resources for underserved communities.”

The National Apprenticeship Act was first signed into law in 1937 during the Great Depression, and this reauthorization would help our nation recover from deepest economic decline since that time.  H.R. 447 invests $75 million in state apprenticeship systems and $400 million in to create opportunities in in-demand, high-paid industries. North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, which is in the Research Triangle, is home to a growing tech, health care, and trade, industry that will greatly benefit from this legislation.