Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

senate Bill S. 777

Should the Feds Give Grants to Support Tech Apprenticeships?

Argument in favor

The tech sector’s need for employees is rapidly outpacing the existing educational and training system’s ability to train students for tech sector jobs. Providing federal support for tech sector apprenticeships is a good way to support non-traditional paths into the industry. Supporting apprenticeship programs is also a good way to help students for whom college isn’t the right fit secure well-paid jobs even without a four-year degree.

jimK's Opinion
···
08/28/2019
I think this is a great idea to help bridge the gap between high school and establishing one abilities in the trades. We place a lot of emphasis on higher ‘academic’ education and not enough on skilled tradespeople. I do have a couple of issues. First, why is it necessary to hire a 3rd party contractor to manage this program? It would seem that the DOL should manage the program directly and not setup a politically favored middleman who will just suck 35% administrative costs off the top of the funding. There seem to be a lot of lucrative positions, mostly is state and local government levels which are filled as political favors and they rarely even attempt to do a good job. I wouldn’t want to chance that happening here. Secondly, I agree that large employers do have the means and should support apprenticeship programs- so I would target apprenticeship programs needed to support needed infrastructure and green energy programs. Our Country’s future goals should include expanding efforts to upgrade the electrical grid and the increased fabrication, construction and installation of renewal energy solutions- so let’s make sure we have skilled tradespeople available to tackle these challenges.
Like (70)
Follow
Share
Ben's Opinion
···
08/27/2019
Lets invest in our future, which starts with our children. Let’s give them a chance to stay competitive with other countries who are developing these industries. When we stop focusing on rejuvenating and helping the next generation, then we will fall behind. Help kids to understand the technology that will be coming and not take them completely out of the system. Give our kids a chance.
Like (21)
Follow
Share
Gopin2020's Opinion
···
08/27/2019
I support Gardner’s bill, we desperately need people trained in a trade all across the nation, college degrees are nice but their are shortages in technical jobs and we should encourage our young people to help fill these occupations. #MAGA
Like (17)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Expanding apprenticeships in the U.S. tech industry faces several challenges — including their steep cost, apprentices’ relatively narrow skill sets in comparison to college-educated workers, and doubts about their mainstream appeal. Given these headwinds, it may make more sense to invest federal dollars towards supporting existing educational routes, such as four-year colleges and vocational programs, instead of creating new apprenticeship programs.

burrkitty's Opinion
···
08/28/2019
Just pay interns. Give them living wages along with everyone else. If companies want better candidates, maybe they should pay taxes so we can fund public education.
Like (19)
Follow
Share
I.Got.an.Idea...'s Opinion
···
08/28/2019
Only if the grants would focus on Green Energy Technologies, such as those focused on by The Green New Deal.
Like (12)
Follow
Share
JTJ's Opinion
···
08/28/2019
Tech companies can fund their own apprenticeship programs. This is not an appropriate use of our tax dollars. Stop finding ways to spend more money, cut spending and balance the budget.
Like (8)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    IntroducedMarch 13th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 777?

This bill — the CHANCE in TECH Act — would provide industry intermediaries, such as state tech associations, the opportunity to receive federal grants to develop apprenticeships within the technology sector. It would direct the Dept. of Labor (DOL) to enter into competitive contracts with third parties to promote the development of, and access to, apprenticeship programs in the tech sector.

To help support secondary schools and junior or community colleges in preparing students for well-paying technology jobs, this bill would also allow the Dept. of Education to issue CHANCE in TECH awards for 21st Century Schools to secondary schools or junior or community colleges that demonstrate high achievement in providing students with the necessary skills to compete in the 21st century workforce.

This bill’s full title is the Championing Apprenticeships for New Careers and Employees in Technology Act.

Impact

Secondary school students; junior or community college students; students who want to work in the tech sector; tech sector apprenticeships; tech industry intermediaries; state tech associations; and federal support for tech sector apprenticeships.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 777

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to provide industry intermediaries, such as state tech associations, with the ability to receive federal grants to develop technology sector apprenticeships. When he introduced this bill last Congress, Sen. Gardner said

“As the technology sector begins to play an even larger role in our economy, it’s important our workforce has the necessary skills and training to perform these jobs. The technology industry currently faces a workforce shortage and Congress must work together to address this problem. This bipartisan legislation is an innovative solution to address the workforce shortage and will result in more Coloradans and Americans across the country receiving the proper training to enter the technology industry. The next 100 years will be defined by our ability to compete in the technology sector and the CHANCE in Tech Act will help the United States remain the global leader in technological developments.”

Original Senate cosponsor Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) adds

“Graduates want high quality jobs, and growing technology companies want skilled employees – the CHANCE in Tech Act provides an opportunity to bridge this gap. The expanding technology sector offers opportunities for good 21st century jobs, and partnerships between employers and schools will ensure that students graduate with the skills and experiences they need to be qualified for such jobs. This bill has great potential to increase employment and advance technological initiatives across the country.” 

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), sponsor of this bill’s House companion in both the 115th and 116th Congresses, says

“Our economy and the types of jobs Americans do are changing fast, but Congress is moving slowly to prepare the country for those changes. Let’s pass the CHANCE in Tech Act so workers have an easier time learning the skills they need to land one of the hundreds of thousands of great-paying technology jobs currently available across the country.”

CompTIA supports this bill. Its Executive Vice President for Public Advocacy, Elizabeth Hyman, says

“The CHANCE in Tech Act addresses the growing tech talent challenge in the U.S. by encouraging public-private funding for apprenticeship programs in the technology sector and by providing students with the necessary skills to compete in the 21st Century workforce. While a majority of careers today require skills in science, technology, engineering and math, many tech jobs do not require an advanced college degree or years of studying and training. Apprenticeship programs can help to fill the skills gap by quickly training and preparing workers for tech jobs across multiple sectors of our economy. The CHANCE in Tech Act will ensure that quality candidates are recruited and provide compressed and targeted training to meet specific employer needs. Additionally, secondary schools will be recognized for ensuring their classrooms are teaching the necessary skills for students to compete in the 21st century workforce.”

Brent Parton, deputy director of the center on education and skills at the New America Foundation, argues that growing the U.S. apprenticeship system, “even at a modest level, could be transformative.” He adds that apprenticeship is “an underutilized way of learning, something that’s really been something of a best-kept secret in a handful of industries.”

Some critics of apprenticeship programs point out that they tend to exclude women and people of color, particularly in higher-wage positions. Currently, most apprentices are white and male. In 2017, the DOL cancelled two contracts that sought to promote racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in apprenticeship programs.

More broadly, apprenticeship programs in the U.S. are plagued by doubts about their ability to become mainstream. Unlike in Europe, where apprenticeship programs are deeply ingrained in countries’ cultures (as is the case in Switzerland, where most 15-year-olds are in apprenticeships, or Germany, where the culture of apprenticeship has existed for hundreds of years thanks to strong national trade unions’ support), federally registered apprenticeships currently account for only 0.3% of the overall U.S. workforce

Due in part to their rarity in the U.S., apprenticeships also don’t have a well-defined relationship with higher education. Governing’s J.B. Wogan observes, “Proponents often trip over how to describe [apprenticeships] in relation to higher education: Are these part of someone’s eventual path to a four-year bachelor’s degree, or are they a cost-effective substitute for college?”

There are also practical barriers to expanding apprenticeship as a concept. The modern economy, in which workers have increased mobility and an easier time switching jobs, makes employers wary of investing in worker training, such as apprenticeships. Additionally, because apprenticeships train workers more narrowly than traditional college degrees, workers who are trained in such programs are among the most vulnerable workers during recessions, as their relatively narrower skill sets and less flexible knowledge can make it difficult to switch between industries.

This legislation has three bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including two Democrats and one Republican, in the 116th Congress. Its House version, sponsored by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), has 15 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 12 Democrats and three Republicans. It is also supported by a range of technology organizations, including CompTIA, CALinnovates, The Software Alliance, ACT, the App Association, BSA, Developers Alliance, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and more.

Last Congress, this legislation had three bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including two Democrats and one Republican. Its House version, sponsored by Rep. Moulton, had 46 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 33 Democrats and 11 Republicans. Neither bill received a committee vote last Congress.


Of NoteCompTIA reports that the technology sector contributed over $1.5 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2017. It also employed more than 11.5 million workers and added more than 200,000 jobs. However, there are still many more jobs in technology than there are skilled workers to fill those openings: during any given 90-day period, there can be more than 500,000 tech job openings.

At present, only 40% of American K-12 schools and 20% of U.S. high schools teach students the computer science skills that will set them up for well-paying computing jobs. The shortfall in qualified technology sector workers is set to be exacerbated by the retirement of nearly 800,000 IT workers from 2017-2024.

Apprenticeships are arrangements that include a paid-work component and an educational or instructional component in which an individual obtains workplace-relevant knowledge and skills. Companies with apprenticeship programs register with either the DOL or a state labor agency. Program participants are paid by the employer while they receive training at work and in an educational setting (such as a college classroom or trade school). At the end of the program, the apprentice receives a job and an industry-recognized credential based on passing some form of assessment. Apprenticeship programs are overseen by either the federal government or a state agency in order to ensure that they meet national quality standards.

In 2016, then-National Economic Council Director Jeffrey Zients and then-Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez argued that apprenticeships are a strategic investment that pays dividends for both employees and employers. They observed that 91% of apprentices are employed after completing their programs, and that the average starting salary for someone coming out of an apprenticeship program is over $60,000. They also noted that employers benefit from apprenticeship programs, as every dollar invested in an apprentice returns $1.47 to the employer in the form of increased productivity, reduced waste, and greater innovation.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Hiraman)

AKA

CHANCE in TECH Act

Official Title

A bill to direct the Secretary of Labor to enter into contracts with industry intermediaries for purposes of promoting the development of and access to apprenticeships in the technology sector, and for other purposes.

    I think this is a great idea to help bridge the gap between high school and establishing one abilities in the trades. We place a lot of emphasis on higher ‘academic’ education and not enough on skilled tradespeople. I do have a couple of issues. First, why is it necessary to hire a 3rd party contractor to manage this program? It would seem that the DOL should manage the program directly and not setup a politically favored middleman who will just suck 35% administrative costs off the top of the funding. There seem to be a lot of lucrative positions, mostly is state and local government levels which are filled as political favors and they rarely even attempt to do a good job. I wouldn’t want to chance that happening here. Secondly, I agree that large employers do have the means and should support apprenticeship programs- so I would target apprenticeship programs needed to support needed infrastructure and green energy programs. Our Country’s future goals should include expanding efforts to upgrade the electrical grid and the increased fabrication, construction and installation of renewal energy solutions- so let’s make sure we have skilled tradespeople available to tackle these challenges.
    Like (70)
    Follow
    Share
    Just pay interns. Give them living wages along with everyone else. If companies want better candidates, maybe they should pay taxes so we can fund public education.
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    Lets invest in our future, which starts with our children. Let’s give them a chance to stay competitive with other countries who are developing these industries. When we stop focusing on rejuvenating and helping the next generation, then we will fall behind. Help kids to understand the technology that will be coming and not take them completely out of the system. Give our kids a chance.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    I support Gardner’s bill, we desperately need people trained in a trade all across the nation, college degrees are nice but their are shortages in technical jobs and we should encourage our young people to help fill these occupations. #MAGA
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to catch up with the rest of the world in tech
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    Only if the grants would focus on Green Energy Technologies, such as those focused on by The Green New Deal.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    The tech sector desperately needs workers with computer skills. Trade schools have been given short shrift the past forty years with the push for everyone to go to a four year college. Go for it!
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to do this for several reasons. One of which is the Germans have been using this model for years with very good results. Another reason is we are a nation with the incredible natural resource of highly motivated and talented people who just need a chance to grow. Finally as these talented people grow, they contribute to the worth of our great nation and we all grow together.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Tech companies can fund their own apprenticeship programs. This is not an appropriate use of our tax dollars. Stop finding ways to spend more money, cut spending and balance the budget.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    After being in the Information Technology field for more than 40 years I agree that there is a real need for alternative paths of acquiring good technical talent! A good deal of talented technical people may not be able to take more formal education paths, so interning seems like a good resource gathering tool.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    We live in an age where higher education is simply not for everyone. Continuing to fund vocational programs, technical trades, and apprenticeships is necessary for students venturing beyond high school and who are seeking a job after they graduate. We also need to place more of these programs early on in high school to give the student a chance to explore different options.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    It’s called enlisting in The Air Force or Navy for that! They both have all kinds of cool tech fields they will teach you! Army and marines too but that’s more ground combat!
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    It opens up the door to new opportunities for people seeking employment. End it gives an opportunity to those people seeking an education in their field of work
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes. Colleges today are too big, too expensive and out of touch with reality of the business world.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Irregardless of this bill ..Cory Gardner needs to be voted out of office ASAP along with the entire corrupt criminal GOP.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Tech is such a high earner, I’m finding it hard to justify. How about finding education to produce quality applicants
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 The tech sector’s need for employees is rapidly outpacing the existing educational and training system’s ability to train students for tech sector jobs. Providing federal support for tech sector apprenticeships is a good way to support non-traditional paths into the industry. Supporting apprenticeship programs is also a good way to help students for whom college isn’t the right fit secure well-paid jobs even without a four-year degree. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 8.28.19.....
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Support our colleges and schools, not elitist programs to shore up cozy tech relationships.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Apprenticeships are out there and working well without government subsidies. I do not know what the pay scale is for these Tech jobs, but give them a decent starting wage and you won’t need subsidies. Go to the schools starting in Jr. High or Middle School and demonstrate your occupation and let them know what classes they should take. We did this with the power company. But schools were sending their senior high students. When we told them classes they need to take, they said it is to late for them.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    It makes sense to support such legislation if the apprenticeship programs were also connected to actual work in local companies.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE