U.S. Senator John Barrasso sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor urging the Biden administration to withdraw its proposed changes to the National Apprenticeship System.

The proposed rule, entitled “National Apprenticeship System Enhancements, aims to revise the regulations for registered apprenticeship and state governance provisions.

Barrasso believes the rule is "misguided and partisan."

"The rule would enforce a one-size-fits-all requirement for on-the-job and classroom training hours and gives the DOL the ability to dissolve non-union apprenticeships without verification by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

"This would especially hurt programs in rural areas and small businesses that may lack flexibility or resources to fulfill the rule’s strict requirements."

In Wyoming, Registered Apprenticeship Programs provide employment and training opportunities for many students, especially in rural areas of the state.

The letter was co-signed by U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.).

The letter has received support from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services:

"The proposed rule would put Wyoming's Registered Apprenticeship efforts at a distinct disadvantage due to the limited presence of unions and a unionized workforce in Wyoming. Furthermore, one of the substantial benefits of Registered Apprenticeship programs for Wyoming businesses is that each employer has the flexibility to tailor training to meet the unique needs of the industry they serve. This proposed rule would eliminate the industry-tailored approach by setting blanket requirements, regardless of the industry's actual needs. Implementing excessively burdensome requirements is not a sound policy approach to growing businesses, workforce, or economic diversity" wrote Elizabeth Gagen, the Director of Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.

Read the full letter here. 

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