WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call as he introduces bipartisan legislation to help grow and develop apprenticeship programs throughout Ohio and around the country. Brown’s bill, the Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act, would help develop new apprenticeship programs and also provide important resources to existing programs to help develop and expand their apprenticeships in Ohio and across the country.  

“At a time when hard work isn’t paying off for too many Americans, apprenticeship programs are the kinds of innovative ideas we need to show students all the career options available, and help put them on a path toward good-paying jobs,” said Brown. “Apprenticeship hubs will build on that work, and make it easier for high schoolers to take the next step toward securing a good-paying, skilled job.” 

Brown’s Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act would:     

  • Establish a new grant program to create Apprenticeship Hubs, which work with employers to develop apprenticeship programs, market apprenticeships to young people, and provide guidance and mentorship to apprentices during their apprenticeship; 
  • Create a national network of Apprenticeship Hubs through the Department of Labor to share best practices on expanding and developing apprenticeship programs; 
  • Instruct the Department of Labor (DOL) to establish an evaluation process to continue to improve Apprenticeship Hubs and provide resources to successful hubs around the country. 

According to the DOL, apprentices who complete their program earn approximately $300,000 more during their career than non-apprenticeship workers. However, many industries with highly-skilled, good-paying jobs don’t develop apprenticeship programs due to a lack of familiarity with apprenticeship programs or a lack of resources. 

Brown’s bill would help create Apprenticeship Hubs to provide resources, curriculum, and mentorship to businesses and industries that are interested in developing or expanding current apprenticeship programs. These hubs would connect businesses in need of high-skilled workers with Ohioans looking for well-paying jobs. 

Brown was joined on today’s call by Tammy Tansey, the Administrator of Apprenticeship and Training for Bricklayers Local 5 in Ohio. Ms. Tansey talked about the importance of apprenticeship programs and the need to grow and expand these programs throughout the state.     

“Apprenticeships allow workers to earn while they learn. Although college may not be for everyone, our apprenticeship program is actually a form of post-secondary education. Apprenticeship programs allow apprentices to obtain skills through on-the-job training, by working with skilled tradesmen and women as well as classroom training, while leaving the program with little to no debt,” said Ms. Tansey. 

Every summer, Brown hosts summer manufacturing camps throughout the state to help young Ohioans learn about manufacturing jobs available in Ohio. Brown’s summer manufacturing camps help introduce kids and their parents to an up-to-date, real-world understanding of American manufacturing, while teaching them the role manufacturing has played -- and continues to play -- in building and maintaining our economy and our middle class. 

Brown joined Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Todd Young (R-IN), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) to introduce the Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act. 

The Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act is endorsed by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, Delaware Polytech Adult Education, Jobs For the Future (JFF), National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), New America, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), Small Business Majority, and Third Way.