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Foxx Leads Letter to DOL, Seeks Reforms to Address Skills Gap

Today, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Republican Leader of the Education and Labor Committee, along with 19 Republican Members of Congress, sent a letter to the Department of Labor (DOL) Acting Secretary Pizzella seeking changes to a new apprenticeship program, known as the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP). The letter applauds DOL’s efforts to give apprenticeship programs greater flexibility to better address our nation’s growing skills gap, but it also urges the DOL to allow all industries to participate in IRAPs so we can meet labor market demands.

In the letter the members write: “We know skills-based education can fix our nation’s growing skills gap by providing students and job seekers with the skills and hands-on experience they need to improve their own lives…We were disappointed to see the construction sector was specifically excluded from participating in IRAPs…If we are going to meet the growing demand for apprenticeships in our nation, it would be a mistake to exclude any industry or sector…Working together, we can ensure that IRAPs create as many career opportunities as possible by encouraging employer innovation and allowing students and families the freedom to choose the path that is best for them.”

To read the full letter to the Department of Labor, click here.

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