Scott, Thune, Braun, Tuberville Introduce Bill to Grow America’s Workforce
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), along with Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) reintroduced the Training America’s Workforce Act, which would make apprenticeship programs more responsive to industry workforce needs. The legislation would help individuals obtain industry-specific skills through on-the-job learning and classroom instruction, as well as an industry-recognized credential during participation in or upon completion of an industry-recognized apprenticeship program (IRAP).
“Every child deserves the opportunity to achieve their version of the American Dream. Oftentimes, that doesn’t include attending a 4-year college or university,” said Senator Scott. “In fact, quality apprenticeship programs can put young Americans on the path to a lifelong, good-paying job. Rather than imposing a heavy-handed, government-run program, our legislation seeks to expand industry-led workforce development initiatives to get qualified workers into well-paying jobs.”
“Workforce shortages are one of the top issues I continue to hear about from businesses across South Dakota,” said Senator Thune. “I’m proud to lead this legislation that would help address these ongoing workforce challenges by providing employers with another way to adequately train prospective employees and help expand the pool of skilled workers.”
“Coming from the business world, I have long been a supporter of expanding access to workforce development and skills training programs,” said Senator Braun. “When I travel across Indiana each year on my annual 92 county tour, I visit a number of workforce development programs that provide job training to prepare the next generation of talent. This legislation will allow us to expand programs like these in order to address the nationwide skills shortage and fill American jobs.”
“Workforce development programs benefit us all,” said Senator Tuberville. “I’m proud that Alabama leads the way with many outstanding industry-education partnerships that create accessible pathways to good jobs. Today’s legislation is one way I’m working to promote apprenticeships so our students can reach their God-given potential.”
“America’s technical colleges are poised to partner with businesses and industries to provide high-quality trainingpathways for skilled professionals,” said Tiffany Sanderson, president of Lake Area Technical College. “IRAPs create innovative workforce training options so businesses can address their needs and employees can be paid while advancing their skills. This additional path to in-demand, well-paying careers is necessary and we commend Senator Thune for introducing the legislation.”
“The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) commends Senators Thune, Scott, Braun, and Tuberville for introducing the Training America’s Workforce Act to help address the persistent labor shortage that is facing the construction industry,” said Alicia Huey, chairman of the NAHB. “The legislation will help ease the housing affordability crisis by allowing the home building industry to expand its workforce training reach through IRAPs. With the addition of IRAPs to existing training options, this bill would provide the training and education needed to promote and advance a variety of careers in residential construction.”
“The Training America’s Workforce Act will support the industry-recognized, market-driven apprenticeship programs that many Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) chapters and members use to provide their workers with the skills they need for a successful career,” said Kristen Swearingen, vice president of legislative and political affairs at ABC. “While President Biden and his allies in Congress attempt to narrow pathways to a profession in the skilled trades through the unnecessary requirement of union-only apprenticeships for critical construction projects, we know that the flexible and modern approach of industry-recognized programs provides new opportunities for all of America’s workers. ABC appreciates Senator Thune, Scott, Braun, and Tuberville’s efforts to better serve construction professionals throughout the country.”
Senator Scott has introduced numerous pieces of legislation as part of his efforts to support American workers. His work includes:
- Introducing his landmark legislation – the Employee Rights Act of 2023 – which would modernize labor policies to match the needs of the 21st century worker, ensure that our laws protect workers rather than union bosses, and allow Americans to keep more of their paycheck.
- Supporting the Accelerate Long-term Investment Growth Now (ALIGN) Act, which would make permanent a provision in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that allowed businesses to fully expense new investments, such as machinery and equipment, in the year of purchase.
- Championing the Fair and Open Competition Act (FOCA), which would prevent the federal government from mandating project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal projects funded by taxpayers, increase workforce competition, and save taxpayer dollars.
- Advocating on behalf of the Small Business Tax Fairness and Compliance Simplification Act, which empowers hundreds of South Carolina beauty services providers by expanding the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) tax tip credit so these businesses are treated similarly to the heavily tip dependent food and beverage sector.
- Pushing the Golden-preneurship Act which would catapult senior-owned small businesses to the next level of success.