Through the legislative efforts of the FCA and IUPAT legislative teams, we secured the early support of Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI and an IUPAT member) and Betty McCollum (D-MN) to insert language into the House FY 22 Appropriations Bill that would allow apprenticeship programs to receive Perkins Act Funding. We are now meeting with Senate appropriators in advance of their expected vote on their appropriations bill in February.

What’s Done – Language in House Appropriations Bill

When the FY 22 Appropriations process began in spring of last year, FCA’s legislative team began working in conjunction with the IUPAT to secure appropriation language that would provide Federal Perkins Funding for accredited college apprenticeship programs. This funding would directly impact the accredited Finishing Trades Institutes (FTI) throughout the country, including the FTI MD, VA, D.C., and Vicinities; the FTI New England; the FTI Mid-Atlantic Region; the FTI Southwest; the FTI Upper Midwest; the FTI North Central Illinois; and the International FTI.

In total, this funding would impact 25 college apprenticeship programs throughout the U.S., which they could use on curriculum development, increased staffing, equipment, etc. Through the combined efforts of labor and management on Capitol Hill, the following language (drafted by FCA and the IUPAT) was included when the House passed its FY 22 Appropriations Bill.

“Provided further, that section 3(20) of the Perkins Act shall be applied as if the term ‘‘eligible institution’’ includes an apprenticeship program that is registered under the National Apprenticeship Act and accredited by an agency recognized by the Secretary of Education.” 

What’s Next – the Senate Appropriations Bill (Vote Expected in February)

We are currently working with the Senate Appropriations Committee to ensure the above-mentioned language is included in their FY 22 appropriations bill (a final vote is expected by the full Senate on Feb. 18). FCA International and the IUPAT have been meeting with the following Senate appropriators ahead of this vote: Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Coons (D-VE), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Shelly Capito (R-WV) and Mike Braun (R-IN). We remain confident we will be successful in securing our language in the final bill, but we aren’t leaving any stone unturned until all the votes are counted.

Signatory Contractors’ Efforts Making an Impact on Capitol Hill

Congratulations to all FCA International members whose support allows us to continue securing our industry’s interests on Capitol Hill. The influence and impact signatory contractors have made during congressional fly-ins and other events has helped our industry educate our congressional representatives on the importance of accredited, registered college apprenticeship programs. It is thanks to signatory contractors’ influence and continued relationships that FCA International has a platform to tell your story on Capitol Hill and ensure our country’s legislators understand the importance of the finishing industries.

How to Get Involved with FCA’s Legislative Efforts

If you’re interested in participating with FCA’s Legislative Team, please contact Jon Lee at (866) 322-3477 or by email at jlee@finishingcontractors.org.