ASA Announces Support for Youth Apprenticeship Advancement Act

ASA Announces Support for Youth Apprenticeship Advancement Act

ASA believes the federal government can do more to encourage apprentice programs to ensure independent repair businesses have sufficient manpower.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP), Subcommittee on Employment & Workplace Safety recently held a hearing to examine the value that youth apprenticeship programs provide to employers and the general public. The hearing also looked at the problems that inhibit the positive impact of these programs from realizing their full potential, and the extent to which S. 2363, the Youth Apprenticeship Advancement Act, could resolve those problems.

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) proudly supports the Youth Apprenticeship Advancement Act.

A career as an automotive repair technician can reliably lead to a high income and a rewarding quality of life, but ASA believes the federal government can do more to encourage apprentice programs to ensure independent repair businesses have sufficient manpower. The TechForce Foundation estimates that 495,000 new automotive technicians and 110,000 new collision technicians are needed to meet demand through 2027. These statistics are especially alarming considering the rapid rate of innovation in the automotive industry, which requires technicians who are trained to properly handle these technologies. This problem is particularly acute with regards to electric vehicle (EV) technology.

ASA states that the U.S. government has spent billions of taxpayer dollars to rapidly increase EV research, development, production and sales. As a result, EVs continue to comprise an increasingly growing share of all vehicles on the road in the U.S. However, no corresponding funding has been provided at the federal level to help the thousands of independent automotive repair shops — the vast majority of whom are small businesses — keep pace with the rate of change in the automotive industry. Remaining relevant as an auto repairer in an increasingly EV-dominated world requires technicians to receive extensive training on handling potentially hazardous components, investing in new equipment (like EV chargers), expanding facilities to facilitate safe EV storage and other practices. Few independent repairers enjoy the financial ability to make these critical investments in training and equipment.

Funded entirely from funds collected through H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Fees, the Youth Apprenticeship Advancement Act would award $100 million each year, for five years, in grants. The competitive grants would boost and expand workforce training programs for apprentices aged 16 to 22 who are enrolled in or returning to high school at the beginning of the program. The apprentices would be engaged in work-based learning and related instruction, allowing them to earn education and apprenticeship credentials.

“ASA has a long history of supporting technician training and education,” said Julie Massaro, executive director of ASA. “Our members rely on highly skilled technicians to return their customers’ vehicles to safe operating condition. Enacting the Youth Apprenticeship Advancement Act would strengthen the critically needed pipeline of talent that will enable independent automotive repairers to serve their customers to a high standard for decades. ASA looks forward to working closely with stakeholders to get this bill signed into federal law.”

For more information on ASA, visit asashop.org.

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