On July 12, ABC Vice President of Environment, Health, Safety and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore participated in the first meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives Bipartisan Apprenticeship Caucus. The caucus, founded by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Ranking Member Susan Davis (D-Calif.), was created this spring to expand apprenticeships in the United States and raise the prestige of the skilled trades.

Along with industry experts, Sizemore praised the caucus for their attention to apprenticeship programs and offered recommendations on how to fill the skills gap, stressing that there are 500,000 open positions in the construction industry alone. Sizemore also emphasized the importance of recognizing apprenticeships as equal to college education and described the lucrative and fulfilling careers the construction industry can provide.

ABC members invests $1.1 billion on workforce development to educate more than 475,000 industry employees each year and have set up more than 800 apprenticeship, craft training and safety programs across the United States. Yet more than 80 percent of ABC members report they have trouble finding skilled labor, which impacts construction firms of all sizes. And as the Construction Labor Market Analyzer projects a deficit of 1.1 million workers over the next decade, prioritizing apprenticeship programs is essential. ABC is committed to working with Guthrie and Davis to develop the next generation of skilled workers and support the highest level of education, safety and diversity across the U.S. construction sector.