Rep. Norcross Introduces Bill to Grow Skilled Workforce
Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) released the below statement following the introduction of the Diversifying Paths to Apprenticeships Act (H.R. 7342). The legislation will provide immigrants enrolled in integrated English literacy and civics education programs with information about registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, connecting them with the knowledge and opportunities they’ll need to begin good-paying careers in the skilled trades.
“Our economy requires a highly-skilled workforce to remain competitive well into the 21st century,” said Congressman Norcross. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation that will educate people about what job opportunities are out there and how they can earn while they learn a skilled trade. Knowing apprenticeship programs exist can be the first step to a good-paying career. I got my start as an apprentice electrician, and I’m not sure I’d be where I am today if I had never been made aware of that opportunity.”
Registered apprenticeships are industry-driven career pathways that meet national quality standards, where employers train the future high-skilled workforce and apprentices obtain paid work experience. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 94% of apprentices who complete an apprenticeship program retain employment, with an average starting salary of $70,000. Industries including health care, construction, energy, engineering, and advanced manufacturing are known for their registered apprenticeship programs.
Congressman Norcross is a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, the Science, Space and Technology Committee, and the Armed Services Committee. Before serving in the House of Representatives, he completed a registered apprenticeship and worked as a union electrician in New Jersey as a member of IBEW Local 351.