Davis, Krishnamoorthi Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Boost America’s Apprenticeship Programs

Washington, D.C. — This week, as part of National Apprenticeship Week, U.S. Representatives Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced the Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs (LEAP) Act, bipartisan legislation to boost America’s apprenticeship programs in our skilled industries.

“We need to do more to get folks into the trades and other skilled jobs,” said Rep. Davis. “That’s why I’m re-introducing the LEAP Act. Our bipartisan bill will create a new tax credit for employers who hire new apprentices. With so many job openings in our economy right now, the federal government should be all-hands-on-deck to make sure those jobs get filled. The LEAP Act is one way we can do just that.”

“As we recover from this pandemic, we need to prioritize the reinvigoration of our workforce and preparing it for the 21st century,” Congressman Krishnamoorthi said. “I’m proud to cosponsor the LEAP Act to do just that by incentivizing companies to embrace apprenticeship programs. These programs effectively equip workers with the skills they need to succeed in their fields and contribute to the economy.”

Key pieces of H.R. 5972, 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.
  • Being fully paid for through an offset: cutting printing waste by barring the federal government from producing publications that are available online with an exception for seniors, Medicare recipients and in communities with limited internet access.

You can read the legislative text of the LEAP Act here.

Apprenticeships Offer Benefits to Employers and Employees:

Benefits of the registered apprenticeship system include incremental wage increases, improved skills, career advancement, enhanced retention, and increased productivity. A 2012 evaluation by Mathematica Policy Research found that individuals who completed registered apprenticeship programs earned over $240,000 more over their careers than individuals not participating in such apprenticeship programs and the tax return on every federal government dollar invested in registered apprenticeship programs was $27.

Registered Apprenticeship Programs: Registered apprenticeship programs are an efficient way to ensure employer needs are matched with employee skills. Together, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship and state apprenticeship agencies establish a set of standards necessary for completion and administer the programs nationwide. Upon program completion, apprentices are issued a nationally recognized credential that certifies their skills and proficiency.

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