Apprenticeships for America: your apprenticeship legislative mentor

Patrick Cushing
Patrick Cushing
July 2, 2024

The WorkHands Team did not get into apprenticeships with a deep knowledge of the legislation surrounding how apprenticeships are governed. Maybe we're the exception, but we expect this is the case for most sponsors.

Fundamentally, apprenticeships are defined by both federal and state legislation, executive orders, and agency priorities so at a certain point in your apprenticeship journey, awareness of legislation becomes unavoidable. What is an apprenticeship stakeholder to do when they reach this point where they need to start understanding how legislation impacts this industry?

Much like an apprentice, it's time to find a mentor.

Lately, WorkHands has looked to presentations from Apprenticeships for America (AFA) as a guide to how federal legislation is crafted, disseminated, and influenced by and for the apprenticeship industry.

As an example, last week AFA hosted a webinar titled, Policy Alert - Zoom Session on WIOA Senate Bill. During this session, AFA staff and members highlighted changes to the WIOA reauthorization bill that'd impact apprenticeship definitions, funding applicability, and much more.

Here's just some of the key aspects they covered, the link to the full bill (441 page in all), and the AFA presentation used during the webinar that breaks down highlights you should care about if you rely on or are targeting WIOA funding, including summarizing the parts of the bill that are most relevant to apprenticeship programs:

Requires WIOA state plans to address the availability of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs;
Authorizes states to create an employer-based training activities fund for use in support of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship as well as other employer-directed training.
Creates a new national youth apprenticeship readiness grant (YARG) program to support new and existing youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. Requires a 25% non-federal match. Allocates $65 million of H1B funds for this purpose.

The recording for this session, along with several others legislative webinars from AFA, can be found on AFA's YouTube channel as well. If you'd like to comment on the bill directly, comments are due on July 5th, 2024. AFA will be submitting comments based on the feedback received on the webinar, and you can also send comments directly to WIOA. Make sure to include your name, organization, and email along with your comments.

Like what you see? Join AFA's membership, and you, too, can have your own mentor in your apprenticeship legislative journey.