Cicilline Introduces Bill to Incentivize Apprenticeships for Rhode Island Workers

Sep 26, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) introduced the Promoting Apprenticeships in Public Service Act today to incentivize valuable apprenticeships that help workers develop the critical skills they need to compete in the 21st Century economy and earn higher wages.


“We have an obligation to ensure that America’s workers have every opportunity to get ahead. Apprenticeships are a great way for hardworking folks to hone their trade and earn a higher wage because of it,” Cicilline said. “I’ve long supported apprenticeships throughout Rhode Island and around the country, and this bill will give apprentices an even better opportunity to capitalize on their experience.”


The 21st Century economy has created a skill gap for many positions that simply have not been matched by the workforce. Yet, there are currently only 585,000 apprentices in the United States. Data shows that apprenticeships provide the critical time and training needed for workers to develop the skills they need to succeed in these high-skilled and higher paying positions.


"Today's nurses and health professionals are constantly pushed to do more with less. The next generation of bedside caregivers will be challenged in new and greater ways, including entering the workplace with potentially crippling student debt,” said Linda McDonald, President of the United Nurses & Allied Professionals Executive Council. “Congressman Cicilline's legislation recognizes the vital public service that healthcare workers perform every day and provides a method for bringing down the cost barriers that stand in the way of far too many potential frontline caregivers. UNAP supports this legislation and is grateful for the congressman's efforts."


Cicilline’s bill directs the Secretary of Education to cancel or repay up to $25,000 in loans for any borrower that received a certificate from a registered apprenticeship program and then completes two years of full-time employment at a qualifying public service job. This will ensure that the government can utilize the expertise of apprentices while helping cover the costs of their training.