Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Rep. Nolan Introduces Resolution Supporting National Apprenticeship Week

Nov 18, 2016
Press Release

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan today introduced a House Resolution with his colleague, U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice, and several other representatives to support the official designation of the week of November 14th, 2016 as National Apprenticeship Week – recognizing the important role that apprenticeships play in developing a well-trained and highly skilled work force, and commending the organizations and employers that actively support apprenticeship programs.

“Apprenticeships are a critical part of the success of our next generation,” said Representative Nolan. “Unions have played a particularly important role in advancing apprenticeships in Minnesota, especially in the building trades which have incredible apprenticeship programs to train new workers.”

In late October, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry with a $1.5 million grant to fund its Apprenticeship Expansion initiative. There are more than 200 apprenticeship programs registered in Minnesota, with 85 percent of them in construction trades. There are currently more than 11,000 Minnesotan apprentices.

Nolan is also a cosponsor of the Youth Access to American Jobs Act of 2015. This legislation creates a grant program that would expand apprenticeship programs by awarding grants to 10 eligible entities to carry out a program to increase student participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses and STEM-focused Career and Technical Education courses; enroll in a course of study related to the manufacturing field at the community college upon graduating from the secondary school; and enroll, for a two-year period, in the state apprenticeship program or the joint-labor management training program upon receiving an associate's degree from the community college.

“National Apprenticeship Week is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about apprenticeship programs in communities across the country that are putting more and more American workers on a path to new skills, higher wages and better careers,” said Representative Kathleen Rice. “When workers get the chance to earn while they learn, it’ a win-win for workers, employers and the American economy. I’m grateful for all that President Obama and Secretary Perez have done to expand apprenticeship opportunities across the U.S., and I’ll continue doing everything I can to keep building on that progress in the years ahead.”

“Apprenticeships are experiencing a modern renaissance in America, because the earn-while-learn model is a win-win proposition for workers looking to punch their ticket to the middle class and for employers looking to grow and thrive in our modern global economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.         

In addition to Nolan, original cosponsors of the resolution include Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Ranking Member on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Susan Davis (D-CA), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), David Scott (D-GA), Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. A companion resolution was introduced today in the Senate by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).