House Passes Apprenticeship Bill with Golden Amendment to Expand Apprenticeships in Fishing, Farming, and Logging
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill Friday evening to invest $3.5 billion to expand apprenticeship opportunities across the country. The legislation, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021, included an amendment from Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) to make Maine’s heritage industries — agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting — eligible to receive federal funding through the U.S. Department of Labor programs outlined in the bill.
“Apprenticeships are a tried-and-true system leading to good-paying jobs and a skilled workforce, both of which we need in our state,” said Golden. “This bipartisan bill could create new apprenticeship opportunities for a million Americans entering the workforce over the next five years. So that we can take full advantage here in Maine, I worked to secure an amendment to make sure Maine logging, lobstering, farming, and other industries are eligible to use the grants in the bill to offer more apprenticeships to Mainers who want to learn a trade.”
The $3.5 billion authorized by the National Apprenticeship Act would fund grants promoting apprenticeship programs across the country. The House Education and Labor Committee estimates that the legislation would create one million new apprenticeships nationwide. The bill would also create a new office to oversee the program: the Office of Apprenticeship, housed at the Department of Labor.
Organizations in Maine were supportive of Golden’s amendment:
“The lobster apprentice program is the only way to enter the limited entry lobster fishery in Maine. Support for the state’s apprentice program will continue our efforts to keep Maine's sustainable lobster fishing heritage and culture vibrant by teaching the next generation what's been passed down to us and how to do it safely.” - Virginia "Ginny" Olsen, Communication/Education District 4, Maine Lobstering Union Local 207
Golden has been an advocate for young Mainers in heritage industries. One of the first bills Golden introduced in Congress focused on helping young Mainers in the fishing industry, and he has repeatedly made efforts to help young Mainers work on family logging operations.
You can read Golden’s amendment here.