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News Release

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta Visits BridgeValley Community and Technical College to Discuss the Award of Apprenticeship Grants

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta discussed the award of $4 million in apprenticeship grant funding to the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education during a visit to BridgeValley Community and Technical College in Montgomery, West Virginia. Secretary Acosta toured the college and participated in a roundtable with U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Chancellor Sarah Armstrong Tucker, BridgeValley Community and Technical College leaders, West Virginia government officials, and local business leaders.

“Today’s visit highlights educators and industry partners who will join together to expand apprenticeship opportunities for West Virginia,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Apprenticeships, the earning while learning models, have worked well in many American industries. By partnering with private entities, academic institutions and consortia will create pathways for American workers to learn in-demand job skills to fill millions of family-sustaining jobs.

“We’ve seen such success when public-sector, private-sector, and education leaders all work together to provide our students and workers the kind of comprehensive, hands-on experience to succeed in the workforce and fill in-demand jobs that are critical to our economic growth,” U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito said. “I’m proud to show Secretary Acosta how we are helping West Virginians pursue rewarding careers and provide economic stability for families across our state, and I’m excited to see the opportunities this new funding will create. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ve fought to secure resources to help build a brighter future for West Virginians and, in turn, a brighter future for West Virginia; and I will continue working with the administration and with our state and local leaders to create jobs and better prepare our students and workers to fill those jobs.”

“West Virginia’s community and technical colleges are proof-positive that apprenticeships work,” Chancellor Tucker said. “This remarkable investment by the U.S. Department of Labor will allow us to create even more opportunities for West Virginians to pursue and obtain careers in rapidly-growing technology fields. This is a path to new jobs, new business growth, new economic advancement – and new ways for all of us to work together to create a brighter future for the Mountain State.”

On June 15, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America charging the Secretary of Labor to consider establishing guidelines or requirements that qualified entities should or must follow to ensure that apprenticeship programs they recognize meet quality standards.

On June 25, 2019, the Department issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would establish a process for the U.S. Department of Labor to advance the development of high-quality, industry-recognized apprenticeship programs. The Department of Labor also announced $183.8 million in Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector-Based Strategies grants to private-public apprenticeship partnerships in information technology, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare. These grants will support the training of more than 85,000 apprentices in new or expanded apprenticeship programs.

Employment and Training Administration
July 1, 2019
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Contact: Emily Weeks
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