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.