Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ-01) and David McKinley (R-WV-01) – co-founders of the Congressional Building Trades Caucus – introduced the Pre-Apprenticeships To Hardhats (PATH) Act, H.R. 6820, which expands pre-apprenticeship programs for underrepresented populations.

“My electrical apprenticeship set me on a path toward a fulfilling, family-sustaining career, and it ultimately led me to serve in Congress. Today, many students may want to follow a similar, apprenticeship-based route, but are not afforded the opportunity to learn applicable construction skills,” said Congressman Norcross. “America needs a well-trained workforce to help build our future, and apprenticeships are critical to our success. Some students want to go to college, while others want to build the college, and we need to be supporting them all. Unfortunately, many students are unable to access pre-apprenticeship programs that provide the educational foundations needed to move on to a high-quality registered apprenticeship program. This commonsense, bipartisan bill helps break down barriers so all students have access to a path to a good-paying career.”

“With a record number of job openings, we need to devote attention and resources to workforce development,” said Congressman McKinley. “The apprenticeship path is a proven method to train individuals for the skills they need to enter the modern workforce. This bipartisan bill will help more people access these training programs and prepare for high-demand, good-paying jobs.”

Pre-apprenticeship programs instruct participants on everything from basic literacy and math to work-readiness skills, and can be tailored to the needs of students, employers and local labor markets. The PATH Act provides grants to assist in the creation and sustenance of pre-apprenticeship programs that serve racial minorities, women, long-term unemployed individuals and people from impoverished census tracts. Click here for the full text of the bill.

“North America’s Building Trades Unions understand the training and education pathways required to produce a highly-skilled workforce, and we fully support apprenticeship readiness programs,” says Sean McGarvey, President of North America’s Building Trades Unions. “The efforts in Congressman Norcross’ bill not only open the pipelines of the skilled trades to underserved communities across America, they are essential to securing a strong foundation for America’s middle-class and ensuring national and local economic growth.”

About the Congressional Building Trades Caucus

Norcross, an electrician by trade, and McKinley, who worked and taught in the construction industry, launched the Congressional Building Trades Caucus in March 2016. The bipartisan effort brings together Members of Congress from both sides of aisle to discuss issues that affect the millions of men and women who work in the construction industry.

About Donald Norcross – Representing the American Worker

A member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 351, Norcross has a long history of fighting for workers in South Jersey. He fought day in and day out to ensure workers had good-paying jobs as a labor business agent and as president of the Southern New Jersey AFL-CIO. In the state legislature, he was part of the successful fight to raise the minimum wage in New Jersey.

As the only member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Norcross is working to raise wages, protect the middle class, strengthen workplace protections and advance paid leave and equal pay.


Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director