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Labor Dept Moves To Bolster Apprenticeship Programs

Alexander Acosta

Trump’s Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, is trying hard to increase the number of apprenticeship programs in the United States, but is being stalled and blocked by Obama loyalists within his own agency.

Many have called for an increase in apprenticeship programs, as an elegant solution to tackling the skills gap, and the problem of college debt at the same time. By learning a trade – to a highly professional degree – through an apprenticeship would free students from being crippled by debt, and spending 4 precious years of their lives in leftist indoctrination centers, learning inane socialist sophistry.

Acosta appeared before the House Committee on Education and Workforce on Wednesday to announce the department’s agenda as they head into 2018. He emphasized a strong commitment to expanding the apprenticeship programs for the young and entry-level workers to learn the trade, praising industries like steamfitters, pipefitters and carpentry – which all make extensive use of apprentices. He also acknowledged the work that both Ford and Boeing were doing to hire apprentices into their labor force.

President, Donald Trump had pledged to boost the federal funding for such programs in both the private and public sector. However, Acosta said that the growth of apprentice enrollment has not yet matched the expectations and that America still faces vast skills gap, claiming that more than 6 million of these jobs are left unfilled, due to a lack of qualified candidates.

Acosta also said that the problem actually stems from the fact that federally registered programs “are not scaling at the rate they could grow.” He had cited the regulatory red tape as one of the obstacles to the spread of apprenticeship which only makes up a mere 0.3% of the workforce.

“The regulatory approval process is viewed as cumbersome … it takes a long time. An individual or a company that is interested, let’s say having 30 or 40 apprenticeships, by the time they look at the registration process…they’re making a calculus that they shouldn’t engage at all,” Acosta said.

Acosta also chairs the Task Force on the Apprenticeship Expansion which has met for the first time on Monday. The task force, created by Trump, is made up of a team of employers, business leaders, and labor policymakers. He has made it his priority to expand the access for private apprenticeship systems, pointing to the building trades as a model.

“We are looking to develop a system that can streamline the certification process, that in essence would be flexible and would really depend industry by industry,” he had said.

Democrat Rep. Susan Davis responded to Acosta’s call for a streamlined process, and elimination of red tape by screeching that the streamlining government operations will surely result in thousands of workplace deaths, due to unsafe labor conditions. Go figure, another unhinged democrat – mouthing off, like the idiot they truly are.

The ill-informed Congresswoman wined loudly, “[we need] government involvement in establishing the prestige and the quality of apprenticeships… we do need to have that overarching role [over the economy].”

The program that was laid out by Acosta had won the support of the business groups. Rob Gifford, Executive Vice President at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, said that the industry is exploring the formation of the first national apprentice program for those entering the food industry following the administration’s call for new programs.

“Secretary Acosta continues to highlight the importance of improving apprenticeship programs across sectors, including the restaurant industry.” Gifford had said in a statement. “Apprenticeships play a crucial role in fostering career opportunities through on the job workforce training and development.”


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