As President Trump heads to Wisconsin to visit Waukesha County Technical College to review their growing apprenticeship program and talk on the great need for the young to start re-thinking work and tech skill training in order to find a job, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), this week introduced the bipartisan LEAP Act (Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship programs), S. 574. The LEAP Act is part of his Opportunity Agenda, an on-going effort to fix our broken workforce through education and training. The Act, also is a continuation of his SKILLS Act, S. 1911, that was signed into law on July 22, 2014, that empowered job creators and provided working Americans with a more flexible workforce training system.

Benefit Employers

The main answer employers give for not providing training to the entry-level employee is they fear that after they invest the dollars for training, the trained employee will leave for a better opportunity. Sen. Scott bill addresses this by offering a federal tax credit to employers of $1,000 for newly hired apprentices over the age of 25 and $1,500 for those under the age of 25, if they are registered with the U. S. Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency. This incentive of will courage forward minded businesses to start looking at apprenticeship as an good investment, once again, that will benefit their company.

Benefits for apprentices

If passed the LEAP Act would not only benefit the over 410,375 active registered apprentices but could, as Senators Scott stated, “Open the door for employment an economic opportunities for all Americans, in which they can obtain careers for life.” As the demand for a skilled workforce increases over the next decade, in the fields of construction, manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology; individuals entering into apprenticeship programs will benefit from earn while they learn on-the-job skills that could lead to wage increases, better employee benefits, and career advancements.

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Each apprentice, upon completion, will be issued a nationally recognized certificate that certifies their skills and proficiency.

Nothing new here folks

Apprenticeship programs are nothing new. They had been around for centuries, it was a way of handing down skills from one generation to another. But times change, and for one reason or another apprenticeship programs have fallen to the wayside and have even been taken out of our school system. Today there are 19,260 active registered apprenticeship programs, and the average person looking or in need of work, has no knowledge of them, or who or where to apply to get into one of these programs. Hopefully today with the new focus on apprenticeship programs, the ongoing efforts by Senators Scott to enhance employment opportunities, will help of Americans to gain marketable skills through training and education so they can achieve a stable financial independence.