February 02, 2021

Cárdenas, Doggett Introduce Expanding Opportunity through Pre-Apprenticeships Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressmen Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) and Lloyd Doggett (TX-35) introduced the Expanding Opportunity through Pre-Apprenticeships Act. The bill authorizes grants to eligible entities and directs the Department of Labor to create a plan to expand participation in pre-apprenticeship programs for underrepresented populations and individuals with barriers to employment.

“The strength of our economy depends on our commitment to developing a 21st-century workforce and preparing the next generation of American workers,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “By establishing apprenticeship standards and programs, this bill will encourage workers to explore careers in different industries and pursue new opportunities and provide Americans with the tools needed to meet the challenges of the modern economy.”

“All jobs need a solid foundation,” said Rep. Doggett. “By establishing strong standards for pre-apprenticeship programs that train workers not traditionally enrolled in apprenticeships, we can ensure workers are equipped with the tools needed to learn and meet workforce challenges, injecting talent into local economies.”

Last year, Congressman Cárdenas introduced the Expanding Opportunity through Pre-Apprenticeship Programs with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary-designate Marcia Fudge which was endorsed by the AFL-CIO and the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council (CBCTC).

"High-quality pre-apprenticeship programs are a proven way to expand economic opportunity for under-served communities," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka last year.  "This legislation will open up a path to the middle class for workers across our nation, and we are proud to support it.”

The Expanding Opportunity through Pre-Apprenticeships Act:

  • Establishes pre-apprenticeship program standards and requirements.
  • Directs the Secretary of Labor, within one year, to collect data on pre-apprenticeship programs, using the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) indicators of performance, how programs resources are spent, and the diversity and inclusion efforts in apprenticeship programs.
  • Directs the Secretary of Labor and the State apprenticeship agency, within one year, to conduct research in State labor markets and create a plan to expand participation in pre-apprenticeship programs for nontraditional populations or individuals with barriers to employment, including youth, women, people of color, long-term unemployed, individuals with disabilities, individuals with substance abuse issues, individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, and veterans.
  • Provides grants to serve participants from nontraditional apprenticeship populations with preference to women, people of color, veterans, those who have been impacted by the youth or adult criminal justice system, and individuals with barriers to employment between the ages of 16 and 24. 



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