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Front of the Capitol building

Issa Authors Amendment to Restore Innovative Apprenticeship Program

July 28, 2021

Washington, DC – This week, the House of Representatives considered an amendment authored by Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50) to restore the Department of Labor’s Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) following the Biden Administration’s abrupt cancelation in February 2021.

Issa offered the amendment along with colleagues, Representatives Harshbarger, Steel, Kim, Womack, and Guthrie, to the FY2022 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill.

Issa said, “There could be no better time than now to create pathways for workers to enter critical fields like nursing and STEM. The IRAP apprenticeships allow customized programs with field-specific curriculum so participants graduate with industry-recognized credentials and workplace-relevant experience. It is a win for all participants and an effort we should all support.”

“President Trump’s establishment of Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) allowed prospective workers to get hands-on experience while making the apprenticeship process more accessible for employers. Instead of bowing to pressure from unions that are entrenched in the apprenticeship programs of the past, Biden and Congressional Democrats should support innovative programs that open the door for workers to achieve the American Dream,” said Congresswoman Harshbarger.

First introduced in 2017 as flexible, employer-led programs, IRAP apprenticeships are designed to be more responsive to changing workforce needs. Focusing on rapidly growing industries including health care and STEM-based positions, IRAP apprenticeships connect students and job seekers with the most competitive job skills possible.