Senators Introduce Bill to Open Access to Apprenticeship Programs for Veterans

Bill would streamline certification process to encourage more private programs to offer training programs

Sen. Tom Cotton

Sen. Tom Cotton / Getty Images


Senators Tom Cotton (R., Ark. ) and Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) introduced the VALOR Act, which will help military veterans have more access to apprenticeship programs.

Currently, private apprenticeship training programs in multiple states are required to register with each state's approval agency, which increases the amount of paperwork and review processes they have to go through. Because of this, some of these programs have decided to limit themselves to a smaller number of states and have been discouraged from opening up programs for veterans.

The Veteran Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform Act would help streamline the certification process for these programs by allowing there to be a streamlined approval process.

"To make employers register their apprenticeship programs in every single state they operate in is a needlessly burdensome requirement," said Sen. Cotton. "It also has the perverse effect of making it harder to hire veterans. This legislation will cut through the red tape and help put more veterans in apprenticeship programs."

"Hiring veterans in the private sector should be as easy as possible, and Congress needs to do its part to increase opportunities for veterans in our workforce," said Sen. Tillis. "It is unnecessary to force businesses to register in every state of operation, and the VALOR Act is commonsense legislation that will reduce this burdensome requirement so apprenticeship programs will be more accessible to veterans."

The House of Representatives introduced companion legislation led by representatives Ro Khanna (D., Calif.), Jodey Arrington (R., Texas), and Beto O'Rourke (D., Texas).

"Apprenticeship programs allow veterans to gain skills needed for 21st-century jobs. Something as simple as paperwork should not stop employers from hiring veterans," said Rep. Khanna, a member of House Armed Services Committee. "The VALOR Act would remove administrative hurdles and offer more apprenticeship to veterans."

"Given the tremendous sacrifice our veterans have made for our country, we should do everything we can to ensure they have access to good jobs," said Rep. Arrington. "The VALOR Act eliminates needless burden and bureaucracy in the transition of our veterans from deployment to employment."

"Making apprenticeships more accessible is always a win-win for our veterans and our businesses," said Rep. O'Rourke. "Doing so through the VALOR Act is a golden opportunity to support those transitioning from active duty to civilian life in El Paso, throughout Texas, and across the country as they look to build on their skillset for our 21st-century workforce."

Ali Meyer

Ali Meyer   Email Ali | Full Bio | RSS
Ali Meyer is a staff writer with the Washington Free Beacon covering economic issues that expose government waste, fraud, and abuse. Prior to the Free Beacon, she was a multimedia reporter with where her work appeared on outlets such as Drudge Report and Fox News. She also interned with the Heritage Foundation and Pacific Research Institute. Her Twitter handle is @DJAliMeyer, and her email address is

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