Rep. Ted Budd Introduces Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act
Washington, D.C. -- Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced the Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act. The bill would allow veterans to attend pre-apprenticeship programs using their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Rep. Budd introduced the bill alongside Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH).
Rep. Budd said in a statement:
“The number of unemployed veterans is still unacceptably high. There are simple, commonsense fixes that Congress can pursue that will give our veterans a chance to gain more skills for a rewarding career, especially in a trade. I’m proud to put forward such a solution today. Bottom line: the Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act would give veterans more on-ramps on the road to success after they’ve served our country.”
As of April 2021, the unemployment rate among our nation’s veterans was 5.3%. The Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act provides a commonsense fix to a successful program that helps get those who served our nation access to high-paying and stable careers. Making this fix could not be timelier as our country looks to regain full employment in the wake of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, veterans can use their GI Bill benefits to cover the cost of Department of Labor (DOL) approved apprenticeship programs. Often, these programs are critical first steps toward rewarding and lucrative careers in the skilled trade industry. However, current law does not allow veterans to use those same benefits to cover pre-apprenticeship programs that, for certain trades, can be just as crucial.
Pre-apprenticeship programs can play a valuable role in providing work-based learning to prepare individuals for entry-level DOL Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP).
The Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to treat approved pre-apprenticeship programs as apprenticeship programs for the purposes of providing educational assistance.
Veterans enrolled in pre-apprenticeship programs covered by The Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act will receive the same amount of educational assistance as they would if they were enrolled in a RAP.