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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 22, 2017 01:35 PM
From: Representative Jim Cox
To: All House members
Subject: Elimination of the State Apprenticeship Council
 
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In the near future, I will be introducing legislation (prior HB 1631) which would eliminate the State Apprenticeship Council (SAC), an appointed body created by the Apprenticeship and Training Act of 1961 (Act of Jul. 14, 1961, P.L. 604, No. 304).

My legislation will abolish the State Apprenticeship Council and defer that advisory capacity to the federal DOL, which publishes mandated standards. This change will improve the process for employers who wish to implement an apprenticeship program to train new skilled workers, save the Commonwealth money by eliminating an unnecessary state bureaucracy, and streamline the certification of highly skilled workers to join Pennsylvania’s workforce.

In 1961, the Commonwealth had two paths to choose from in order to comply with the federal Department of Labor’s (DOL) apprenticeship and job training standards. Pennsylvania chose to establish the SAC instead of allowing the federal Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT) to manage the apprenticeship program. In the United States, the states are now evenly split between BAT states and SAC states. In 2008, the DOL revised its apprenticeship standards and mandated a specific set of criteria for each state to achieve by 2010. It is now 2017 and Pennsylvania remains out of compliance with these federal standards.

The ultimate punitive action for non-compliance with DOL standards is rescission of recognition, whereby the DOL refuses to acknowledge the Commonwealth’s ability to create, administer, and enforce apprenticeship programs. This action would cripple workforce development efforts in Pennsylvania, eliminating the Commonwealth’s eligibility for millions of federal government dollars earmarked for promoting apprenticeship and technical skills training and would be a public embarrassment for the Commonwealth. This legislation will avoid such consequences.

As we continue to search for ways to save taxpayer money and improve the Commonwealth’s workforce in the 21st century, I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.
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Prior Co-sponsors of this legislation: Tobash, Bloom, Causer, Dunbar, Emrick, Everett, Greiner, Grove, A.Harris, Hickernell, Kauffman, Maloney, Masser, Millard, Pickett, Topper, Ortitay, and Phillips-Hill
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Introduced as HB1005