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Congressman Ro Khanna

Representing the 17th District of California

RELEASE: Rep. Khanna’s Bipartisan VALOR Act Passes House, Open Doors for Veterans to Apprenticeship Programs

November 7, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, HR 3949, the Veteran Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform (VALOR) Act, passed unanimously by a voice vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bipartisan bill now heads to the Senate.

Currently, private employers who offer apprenticeship programs in more than one state must register with each state approval agency individually. This trail of paperwork and burdensome review process often discourages employers from opening these apprenticeship programs to veterans.

The VALOR Act would streamline the registration process for employers, still allow approval agencies to certify programs, and give veterans more opportunities to gain employment through apprenticeship programs.

“Apprenticeship programs allow our nation’s finest to build the skills needed to compete in the 21st century job market and the technology revolution. I’m proud to see the House vote in favor of removing administrative hurdles and offer more apprenticeship to veterans,” said Rep. Khanna, a member of House Armed Services Committee and the bill’s sponsor. “I urge the Senate to pass this bill and send it to the President’s desk for his signature into law, it’s time to ensure our veterans have gainful employment and encourage a diverse range of companies to offer apprenticeship programs. Thank you to all who have played a role in moving this bill forward.”

“In the transition from deployment to employment, apprenticeship programs have proven to be extremely successful. Roughly 20,000 veterans are actively training or participating in these programs and their employment outcomes are nothing short of impressive. According to VA’s data, over 90 percent of veteran apprentices are employed after completing their programs, with an average starting wage of over $60,000,” Rep. Arrington said. “While it’s clear to see the advantages of apprenticeship programs, like in many parts of the VA, this program is hampered by needless burden and bureaucracy. The VALOR Act streamlines the registration process for employers, which in turn encourages them to participate and leads to more opportunities for our veterans. Given the tremendous sacrifice our veterans have made for our country, we should do everything we can to ensure they have access to good jobs and the VALOR Act does just that.”

“Making apprenticeships more accessible is always a win-win for our veterans and our businesses,” Rep. O’Rourke said. “Doing so through the VALOR Act is a golden opportunity to support those transitioning from active duty to civilian life in El Paso, throughout Texas and across the country as they look to build on their skillset for our twenty-first century workforce. But beyond doing what’s right for those who served, the VALOR Act is also a prime example of how we can all work together to make meaningful improvements that fix gaps in our laws and improve services for our veterans.”

“I’m grateful for Rep. Khanna’s leadership on this legislation to streamline the process to pay students under the GI Bill apprenticeship, which will result in more gainful employment for those who have served honorably in our country’s military,” said House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Chairman Phil Roe, M.D.

The following members have signed on as cosponsors of the VALOR Act: Rep. Jodey Arrington of Texas, Rep. Beto O'Rourke Texas, Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, Rep. Krysten Sinema of Arizona, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York.

Read the full text of the VALOR Act here.

 

About the Office

Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at khanna.house.gov. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.

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Khanna Press Office: 202-225-2631