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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 17, 2014 04:40 PM
From: Senator Mike Folmer
To: All Senate members
Subject: Registered Apprenticeship Program in Pennsylvania
In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation to update the registered apprenticeship program in Pennsylvania. This legislation was previously Senate Bill 595, co-sponsored by: Folmer, Vulakovich, Browne, White and Waugh.

With the passage of the Fitzgerald Act of 1937, the federal government established “registered apprenticeship” program. Registered Apprenticeship is a national system of paid on-the-job training, related instruction and industry specific certification. Upon successful completion of a Registered Apprenticeship, the apprentice is issued a nationally recognized; nationally portable; post secondary credential.

In 1961, Pennsylvania passed its own Registered Apprenticeship Law mirroring the Fitzgerald Act of 1937. Passage of a state apprenticeship law gave Pennsylvania authority over registration and oversight of state apprenticeship programs. State apprenticeship programs are dually registered and recognized both statewide and nationally.

According to a federal narrative: “In the 30 years since the Department promulgated the existing standards at 29 CFR part 29 that provide for the registration of apprenticeship programs, technological advances, demographic changes, and globalization have significantly altered the context in which apprenticeship programs operate. The revision of part 29 will enable the National Apprenticeship System to keep pace with changes in the economy and corresponding workforce challenges, continue apprenticeship’s vital role in developing a skilled, competitive workforce, and further promote registered apprenticeship as an important talent development strategy offered through the public workforce investment system.”

Pennsylvania’s Apprenticeship System has historically been underutilized. Passage of this legislation will establish and enable the promotion of Registered Apprenticeship as a viable and vital component of the State’s workforce development; workforce education; and workforce investment system.

Benefits include but are not limited to:
  • Rapid response to needs of new and emerging occupations and industries.
  • More standardization and industry-based credentialing for Pennsylvania’s Businesses.
  • Innovative partnerships between business and industry and secondary and post secondary education.
  • Industry driven education.
  • Increased interest in manufacturing and trades as occupations.
  • Decrease in the skills gap.
  • Increased opportunity for attaining industry-specific credentials.
  • Significant impact as a drop-out prevention model.
  • Alternate pathway to post-secondary education.
  • Mechanism for addressing diversification, recruitment and retention of skilled workers.
  • Opportunities for training, education and employment for non-traditional and hard to serve populations.
  • Entry level and higher level training.
  • Increased opportunities for Post Secondary Degrees and Certifications for students.
Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB280