Skip to Content

Press Releases

ICYMI: Apprenticeships, Not College, Can Help Reduce Unemployment

Empowering job creators to play a more influential role in our nation’s workforce system will help equip workers with the right tools to participate successfully in the free market. This will improve workers’ lives and grow our economy. Yet, the Biden administration is actively working to limit job creators’ input.  

In Case You Missed It, via a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Paul Winfree and Rachel Greszler call on the Biden administration to embrace a flexible, employer-driven alternative “which is perfectly tailored to what ails our workforce today.”

Apprenticeships, Not College, Can Help Reduce Unemployment
By Paul Winfree and Rachel Greszler
June 21, 2022

[P]olicy makers should focus on younger workers. This is also where the private sector can take the lead, with all the more success if lawmakers can remove unnecessary restrictions.

Employers are addressing gaps by investing in practical workforce education.

The Trump administration recognized this potential and in March 2017 initiated Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs, which created a new pathway for more flexible, industry-driven alternatives. This quickly led to more than 130 new apprenticeship programs predominantly in high-demand fields with worker shortages, such as nursing. Shortly after coming into office, however, President Biden canceled the initiative and directed the Labor Department to revert to the government-monopoly apprenticeship model that has failed to expand beyond male-dominated manual-labor trades.

Congress should immediately revive the IRAP model, which is perfectly tailored to what ails our workforce today. Indeed, the strong labor market and opportunistic environment for employer- and industry-led education alternatives makes this the ideal time to pursue more-effective alternatives to college at lower or no cost.

Read the full op-ed here.

Stay Connected