Legislative Update: Relaunching America’s Workforce Act Reintroduced

This week Congress reintroduced a stimulus bill that would invest in Career Technical Education (CTE). Read below to learn more about this proposal, an apprenticeship reauthorization bill and an update on Congressional committee changes in the new Congress.

Congress Reintroduces Relaunching America’s Workforce Act

The Relaunching America’s Workforce Act (RAWA) was reintroduced this week by House Committee Chair on Education and Labor Bobby Scott (D-VA), incoming Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), Congressman Andy Levin (D-MI), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Senator Tina Smith (D-MN). The focus of this bill is to support CTE and workforce development programs as a result of the pandemic. 

Advance CTE endorses this bill which would provide a $15 billion investment in workforce training, including $1 billion to support Perkins CTE programs and activities, as well as $2 billion to re-implement the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. The $1 billion for CTE can be used for activities including:

  • Expanding and modernizing digital, physical or technology infrastructure to deliver academic and and work-based learning experiences; 
  • Acquiring necessary equipment, technology, supplies and instructional materials that respond to business needs; 
  • Providing incentives to employers and CTE participants to participate in work-based learning; 
  • Expanding program offerings or supports based on updated comprehensive needs assessments; and
  • Providing professional development and trainings for CTE teachers, faculty, school leaders, administrators, support personnel, career guidance and academic counselors and paraprofessionals. 

This bill was previously introduced in May 2020 in both the House and Senate, and was not voted on in either chamber. Additional information about the bill is available, including a fact sheet, section-by-section summary and full bill text.

House Proposes National Apprenticeship Act of 2021

Earlier this week, Chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor Bobby Scott (D-VA) shared a proposed reauthorization of the National Apprenticeship Act, similar to H.R. 8294 that was introduced in the last Congress. The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 (H.R. 447) would invest over $3.5 billion in expanding registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships over the course of five years and create close to 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities.

The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 would: 

  • Authorize $400 million for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22), increasing by $100 million every year up to $800 million in FY26; 
  • Codify and streamline standards for registered apprenticeships, youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs; 
  • Codify existing regulations and practices for equitable participation and increased diversity in apprenticeship programs; 
  • Codify the roles and responsibilities of the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Office of Apprenticeship; 
  • Codify the roles and responsibilities of the State Apprenticeship Agencies (SAAs); and
  • Strengthen the connection between the DOL and U.S. Department of Education (ED).  

Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Congressman David McKinley (R-WV) and Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE) joined Chairman Scott in introducing this bill. 

Advance CTE is pleased to support this bill. Additional information about the bill is available, including a fact sheet, section-by-section summary and full bill text.

House Committee Announces New Members

New additions to the House Committee on Education and Labor have been announced, and include the follow representatives: 

  • Jamaal Bowman (D-NY)  
  • Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM)  
  • Kathy Manning (D-NC)  
  • Frank Mrvan (D-IN)  
  • Mondaire Jones (D-NY) 
  • Joaquin Castro (D-TX) (Returning)
  • Mark Pocan (D-WI)  
  • Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)   
  • Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) 
  • Burgess Owens (R-UT) 
  • Bob Good (R-VA) 
  • Lisa McClain (R-MI) 
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) 
  • Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) 
  • Mary Miller (R-IL) 
  • Victoria Spartz (R-IN) 
  • Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI) 
  • Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) 
  • Michelle Steel (R-CA) 

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

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