Klobuchar, Franken, Peterson, McCollum, Ellison, Walz, Nolan Express Support for Grant Proposal for Next Generation Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship Program

Sep 1, 2015 Issues: Economy and Jobs

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, along with U.S. Representatives Collin Peterson, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Tim Walz, and Rick Nolan, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Tom Perez in support of a grant proposal from Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit operating in Minnesota, that would help implement its Next Generation Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprenticeship program. Jobs for the Future is a national nonprofit organization that addresses the workforce skills gap and helps provide workers with the training needed for higher-wage jobs. The IMT Apprenticeship program, which is administered by DOL, supports apprenticeships in high-growth occupations. This grant would allow the IMT Apprenticeship program to build on successful pilot programs that already exist in Minnesota and are run by the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute, in partnership with Jobs for the Future.

“Skill development in advanced manufacturing is critical to our nation’s competitiveness and the development of career pathways for our manufacturing workforce,” the legislators wrote.We are eager to see this innovative apprenticeship program expanded in Minnesota and ask you to give it full and fair consideration. The Next Generation Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprenticeship program will help to make American manufacturers and workers in our state and in the country more competitive in the global economy.”

The full text of the letter is available below:

Dear Secretary Perez,

We are writing to express our full support for the American Apprenticeship proposal submitted by Jobs for the Future, directed to the U.S. Department of Labor. The program will help to implement the “Next Generation Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprenticeship” for production workers.

This grant proposal is in partnership with a number of labor-management intermediaries and the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute. The IMT Apprenticeship program is a new model of registered apprenticeship for production workers. It builds on the successful pilot programs already running in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota by the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute in partnership with Jobs for the Future.

Skill development in advanced manufacturing is critical to our nation’s competitiveness and the development of career pathways for our manufacturing workforce. We are excited about the prospects of expanding and enhancing the IMT program in Minnesota through this new grant. If awarded, 200 or more individuals in the state of Minnesota will be enrolled in the IMT apprenticeship program, learning vital skills to stay competitive in today’s changing workplace.

We are eager to see this innovative apprenticeship program expanded in Minnesota and ask you to give it full and fair consideration. The Next Generation Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprenticeship program will help to make American manufacturers and workers in our state and in the country more competitive in the global economy.

Thank you for your consideration.