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Chairman Williams and Rep. Bean Write to DOL Over New Rule that Would Negatively Impact Apprenticeship Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, along with Congressman Aaron Bean (R-FL) penned a letter to the Department of Labor regarding a new rule that would disincentivize small businesses from using the National Apprenticeship System. Chairman Williams issued the following statement.

“Apprenticeship programs are a critical way to increase the supply of skilled labor force in our country,” said Chairman Williams. “Unfortunately, this new rule from the DOL will make it harder for businesses to train a qualified workforce. We continually hear from Main Street America how challenging it is to find people capable of filling their job openings. This rule will do nothing to solve this problem and will only add more bureaucratic red tape for small businesses to navigate.”

This letter builds on the House Committee on Small Business’ work to ensure federal agencies adhere to the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act to protect small businesses from burdensome regulations and rulemaking.


Read the full letter here.

Read excerpts from the letter below:

“The House Committee on Small Business (the Committee) writes to inquire about the Department of Labor’s (DOL) recently proposed rule, which seeks to enhance the National Apprenticeship System by modernizing regulations for registered apprenticeships. The proposed rule would introduce significant changes to how training programs are structured, making it more difficult for small businesses to participate in the program. This rule places an especially high burden on small businesses by imposing difficult administrative requirements ranging from mandatory disclosures for training program sponsors to providing details about the operation, performance, and advancement of the training program. It seems the DOL may not have properly considered small businesses in this rulemaking process.

“The proposed rule, among other things, would require the adoption of a time-based model—eliminating the current flexible competency-based approaches to certify an individual has completed their training. Further, the rule adds additional quality and content requirements, and establishes new procedures concerning the registration, cancellation, and deregistration of apprenticeship programs. These new requirements will discourage small business participation in the apprenticeship programs. Discouraging participation in a program designed to bolster the American workforce is counterproductive. Especially given the labor shortage of skilled workers nationwide—nearly 90 percent of small business owners with job openings are struggling to find qualified applicants.”