Davis Recognizes National Apprenticeship Week With Visit to Mid Central Illinois Regional Council of Carpenters
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today recognized National Apprenticeship Week (Nov. 1-7) with a visit to the Mid Central Illinois Regional Council of Carpenters. Davis highlighted the LEAP Act, his bill to reinvigorate America’s apprenticeship programs.
“The need for skilled workers is growing every year,” said Davis. “By incentivizing employers to utilize our apprenticeship programs, we can help workers, especially younger workers, get the on-the-job experience necessary to succeed in today’s workforce.”
“This bill will be helpful for contractors and union workers because we are currently in a recruitment stage," said Dan White, Executive Assistant for the Mid Central Illinois Regional Council of Carpenters. "We are always looking for more young men and women to learn the trade and this will give contractors a greater incentive to hire them."
The need for qualified candidates for essential jobs in industries such as construction, electric, welding, and pipe fitting, is significant and growing – a Georgetown study projects that by 2018 there will be shortages of between 3 million and 5 million skilled workers.
In FY 2013, more than 164,000 individuals nationwide, 2,979 in Illinois, entered the apprenticeship system and there are over 375,000 apprentices, 13,643 in Illinois, currently obtaining the skills they need to succeed while earning the wages they need to build financial security.
Current numbers of programs and individuals participating in them are hardly scratching the surface of what is needed, so the LEAP Act will reinvigorate America’s apprenticeship programs in our skilled industries.
Key pieces of the LEAP Act include:
• Offering a federal tax credit for hiring new apprentices that are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency.
• Addressing the fact that the average age of apprentices is currently as high as 29 by offering a tax credit of $1,500 for apprentices under 25. The tax credit for apprentices over 25 is $1,000.
Davis first introduced the Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs (LEAP) Act last Congress with U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.).