Podcast: Trahan Looks Beyond the Pandemic, Promotes Worker Training Opportunities

Congresswoman Lori Trahan during an earlier appearance on 97.9 WHAV. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Congresswoman Lori Trahan says she is looking beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, working to expand worker training opportunities.

Trahan, a recent guest on WHAV’s morning program, discussed the National Apprenticeship Act she helped pass in the House. She calls it a framework to restart the economy.

“The passage of this legislation will expand access to apprenticeships and will definitely aid in our economic recovery. And I think we do have to think about this sequentially. We have to think about containing the virus and making sure we get through this public health pandemic, but then also get to work on how we are going to stimulate our economy once people have the confidence to go back out,” she says.

Trahan says the measure would invest nearly $3.5 billion over the next five years, creating more than one million apprenticeship opportunities for American workers, and encourage participation by small and medium sized businesses

“These apprenticeships will be expanded. We know and we have seen an unbelievable model in terms of our building trades. I’ve been down to the labor apprenticeship program as well as the carpenters and there’s a great model for how we get folks into those jobs which we are experiencing shortages of people in those family sustaining good paying jobs. We want to expand that model into other fields,” she explains.

Trahan says it’s estimated that seven million jobs may be permanently lost because of the pandemic. These apprenticeship grants, to be funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, will help defray the costs to participating businesses. The measure is now awaiting Senate action.

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