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House Passes Bipartisan Bonamici Bill to Create Job Opportunities

February 5, 2021
Press Release



WASHINGTON, DC [2/5/21] – Today the House passed bipartisan legislation co-led by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) to create nearly 1 million apprenticeships over the next five years. 


The National Apprenticeship Act (NAA) invests in Registered Apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships, and youth apprenticeships, which will help rebuild the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide paid job training opportunities and support to workers who have historically faced barriers to employment. Registered Apprenticeships have a 94 percent employment rate upon completion, with an average annual salary of more than $75,000.


The NAA also includes Bonamici’s bipartisan PARTNERS Act to help small and medium sized businesses develop Registered Apprenticeships and provide workers with critical support services.


“Workers are facing the economic consequences of the pandemic, and our National Apprenticeship Act will help more people get the skills they need to secure good-paying jobs,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Registered Apprenticeships are often life-changing opportunities, especially for workers who have historically faced barriers to employment. I’m excited that this bill includes my bipartisan PARTNERS Act to help small and medium sized businesses establish apprenticeships and provide workers with access to tools, work attire, transportation, child care services, and mentorship support to care for their families and get the skills they need to succeed.”


Video of Bonamici speaking in favor of NAA on the House floor can be viewed here.


“Oregon Tradeswomen is grateful for the leadership of Congresswoman Bonamici and the House Education and Labor committee for advancing the reauthorization of the National Apprenticeship Act,” said Kelly Kupcak, Executive Director of Oregon Tradeswomen. “This legislation is not only critical in providing a demonstrated training model for America’s workforce, but in ensuring that through expanding access to pre-apprenticeship and support to remove barriers to employment, that equity becomes part and parcel of helping move jobseekers and under-employed persons out of poverty and into the Middle Class. This legislation means that women who typically are segregated into low-wage occupations can get free training to secure high-wage, high-skilled careers like construction and provide for themselves and their families.”


“The National Skills Coalition applauds Congresswoman Bonamici’s leadership on the PARTNERS Act for years to help expand apprenticeship and work-based learning for more worker and meeting the needs of more businesses,” said Katie Spiker, Director of Government Affairs for the National Skills Coalition. “In response to recent polling commissioned by NSC, 84% of respondents want improved access to skills to be part of how we’re responding to the current economic crisis, and passage of the PARTNERS Act and the NAA will be a key part of working towards that solution.”


Bonamici first introduced her bipartisan PARTNERS Act in 2017, and reintroduced it earlier this week with Reps. Drew Ferguson (GA-03), Haley Stevens (MI-11), and Brett Guthrie (KY-02). Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) leads the Senate companion bill. You can read a summary of the bill here and a copy of the text here.