Courtney Votes to Pass Reauthorization of William Fitzgerald Apprenticeship Act Program
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), a senior member of the House Education and Labor Committee, today voted to pass the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 (H.R. 447). The bill would authorize more than $3.5 billion to create one million new apprenticeship opportunities over the next five years, and would make historic investments in workforce training to counter the sharp rise in unemployment due to the pandemic. The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 would expand access to Registered Apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeship programs. It would also yield $10.6 billion in net benefits to U.S. taxpayers in the form of increased tax revenue and decreased spending on public-assistance programs and unemployment insurance.
Rep. Courtney is a co-sponsor of H.R. 477, and the bill passed the House today by a vote of 247-173. Earlier this morning, Courtney spoke from the House floor to urge his colleagues to pass the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021. In his remarks, Courtney highlighted the success that Fitzgerald Act Registered Apprenticeship programs have had in eastern Connecticut, specifically. Click here to watch.
“The National Apprenticeships Act was first passed over 80 years ago, and since then it’s helped the American workforce navigate decades of transformational change in our economy,” said Rep. Courtney. “That original bill was introduced by my predecessor, former Congressman William Fitzgerald from Norwich, but since then it hasn’t received a meaningful update to match the needs of today’s economic landscape. It’s long past time that Congress reinvest in these successful programs, and it couldn’t come at a more important time for our region with so much work on the horizon, and while so many are looking hard for new opportunities. H.R. 447 will help spur one million new apprenticeships, and it enforces high-quality, nationwide standards that protect both the taxpayer and the workers to make sure that the programs they’re enrolling in are producing real results. Proud to build on the work of our former Representative from Norwich and pass this bill today.”
The National Apprenticeship Act is also known as the Fitzgerald Act, and was originally introduced over 80 years ago by one of Rep. Courtney’s predecessors from Norwich: former U.S. Rep. William J. Fitzgerald. Courtney and the House of Representatives originally voted to reauthorize Fitzgerald Act apprenticeship programs in the 116th Congress, when they voted to pass H.R. 8294 the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020. The Senate, however, never voted on the bill. In September 2020, Courtney penned an op-ed in the CT Mirror on how the National Apprenticeship Act would help provide much-needed employment opportunities during COVID-19.
The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 is endorsed by American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA), Jobs for the Future (JFF), National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), National Skills Coalition (NSC), National Taskforce on Tradeswomen’s Issues (TWTF), North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), and Third Way.
For a fact sheet on the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021, click here.