FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2019
Meaghan Lynch (Harris)
Tom Mentzer (Feinstein)
Harris, Feinstein, Colleagues Oppose Labor Department Proposal to Create Duplicative, Lower-Quality Unregistered Apprenticeships
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Monday joined Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and 42 of their colleagues in sending a letter to Acting Secretary Patrick Pizzella opposing the Labor Department’s recent proposal to undermine the highly effective and widely supported registered apprenticeship program. The proposed rule would create duplicative, unnecessary, and lower-quality “industry-recognized apprenticeship programs” (IRAPs), that would not provide the same crucial benefits and protections as long-established registered apprenticeships. The Department has also proposed the establishment of new “standard recognition entities” to oversee the IRAPs, allowing these programs to potentially evade accountability, even to apprentices themselves.
“Rather than invest federal taxpayer dollars in a duplicative, less rigorous, and unproven model of workforce training with little to no accountability, the Department and the Trump Administration should work with Congress and stakeholders to strengthen and modernize the registered apprenticeship system to build more pathways for workers to enter middle class jobs,” wrote the Senators.
The Senators also questioned whether the proposed rule is truly consistent with National Apprenticeship Act, which entrusted the Labor Department to “safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of apprentices.”
In addition to Senators Harris, Feinstein, and Murray, the letter was signed by Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Bennet (D-CO), Blumenthal (D-CT), Booker (D-NJ), Brown (D-OH), Cantwell (D-WA), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Coons (D-DE), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Duckworth (D-IL), Durbin (D-IL), Gillibrand (D-NY), Hassan (D-NH), Heinrich (D-NM), Hirono (D-HI), Kaine (D-VA), King (I-ME), Klobuchar (D-MN), Leahy (D-VT), Manchin (D-WV), Markey (D-MA), Menendez (D-NJ), Merkley (D-OR), Murphy (D-CT), Peters (D-MI), Reed (D-RI), Rosen (D-NV), Sanders (I-VT), Schatz (D-HI), Schumer (D-NY), Shaheen (D-NH), Smith (D-MN), Stabenow (D-MI), Tester (D-MT), Udall (D-NM), Van Hollen (D-MD), Warner (D-VA), Warren (D-MA), Whitehouse (D-RI), and Wyden (D-OR).
Full text of the letter is below and HERE.
Central Valley District Director
U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris