Laurens County had big news this week with an almost $7 million grant announced for expanding opportunities for students at Clinton and Laurens High Schools to prepare for jobs of the future. The four-year grant features apprenticeship programs as part of the expanded opportunities for students here and at two Richland District 2 High Schools.
More ideas of apprenticeship are up for discussion in the nation’s capital this afternoon during a bi-partisan discussion on a bill proposing to fund more apprenticeship programs. The discussion is to feature Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina and Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey. They’re to be at Facebook headquarters in DC at 1:45 this afternoon is the first-ever live bipartisan Q&A to discuss their ‘Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs’ (LEAP) Act. The bill proposes to provide a tax credit to employers to help increase the number of registered apprenticeships in the U.S. to put more people to work and help fill the 4 million job vacancies across the United States – openings often attributed to a skills mismatch between employers and job seekers.
Even as companies report unfilled positions, there are still 10 million jobless Americans, and 16 percent of 16-24 year olds in the United States today are unemployed. The numbers are far worse among youth of color and for those without college degrees. Apprenticeships can help fill this gap. The U.S had just 358,000 active, registered apprenticeships in 2012. By contrast, that’s 7 percent of what England offered when adjusted for population, and in Germany nearly 50 percent of all young people go through apprenticeship programs.
Senators Tim Scott and Cory Booker will be on the Facebook Q & A around 1:45 this afternoon at facebook.com/SenatorTim Scott and Facebook.com/corybooker.