December 7, 2023

Washington Wire: One Voice Files Comments with U.S. Senate on Workforce, Apprenticeships


One Voice Files Comments with U.S. Senate on Workforce, Apprenticeships

On April 9, NTMA and PMA under One Voice filed comments with the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee in response to their request for input on the following areas as they look at passing National Apprenticeship Act, WIOA, and Higher Education Act bills this year:
  1. how to enhance or improve workforce training in direct relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, including ways to address workforce needs of the health care and public health sectors;
  2. reforms to programs authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act;
  3. ways to develop, modernize, and diversify the national apprenticeship system, including innovative approaches such as youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship; and
  4. strategies to encourage innovation to address worker and industry needs.
You can find the comments filed with the Senate Committee here.
One Voice believes the federal government should take a holistic approach to workforce training to meet the varying needs of employers, and manufacturers specifically. This involves engaging the youth at the earliest possible age, utilizing the coordinated resources of all stakeholders, and having a committed pathway for career opportunities with incentives for the individual, educators, and employers to promote manufacturing and innovation.
A recent survey conducted in January 2021 with 85 respondents averaging 64 employees shows that 86% currently have an open skilled position with 94% reporting challenges recruiting qualified employees, including 48% facing severe challenges.
The U.S. House passed a bipartisan National Apprenticeship Act earlier this year, an update to a law not changed since 1937. One Voice is lobbying lawmakers who in the Senate hope to begin moving workforce development legislation through committee in the coming months. 



Biden Releases Infrastructure Proposal
President Joe Biden unveiled the first portion of his wide-ranging “infrastructure” plan on March 31. While labeled an infrastructure bill, the proposal focuses numerous sectors. The American Jobs Plan totals $2.25 trillion over eight years, with a focus on transportation, caregiving, manufacturing, housing, schools, water, broadband, and the power grid. 
The proposal calls for funding to strengthen and modernize U.S. supply chains including $52 billion for programs for domestic manufacturers, including a new financing program to support debt and equity investments and $50 billion for the Commerce Department to invest in critical goods production. 
The plan calls for $31 billion for programs that would focus on access to credit, venture capital and R&D funding for small businesses. It includes funding to create a national network of small business incubators and innovation hubs to support entrepreneurship in communities of color and underserved communities. 
Biden’s plan would also provide $100 billion for workforce development programs, including
  • $48 billion for workforce development infrastructure and worker protection, including registered apprenticeships for underserved populations
  • $40 billion for a new program to provide services for workers involuntarily unemployed and for training in high-demand sectors such as clean energy, manufacturing, and caregiving
  • $12 billion for job training for women, people of color, and formerly incarcerated individuals
The House is currently working on writing actual legislation based on the President’s plan. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she wants the House to pass an infrastructure bill by July 4, with the Senate set to act by Labor Day. This timeline puts the infrastructure bill on a path to potentially reach President Biden’s desk by the end of the government’s fiscal year on September 30, 2021.
The Administration subsequently released a proposal to increase the C-Corporation tax rate to 28 percent, while raising the base rate paid by multinational corporations. They have yet to address whether taxes will also increase on pass-through businesses, who pay at the individual tax rate. Thus far, these are only proposals and One Voice is working with lawmakers who will write the actual law to lobby them about using the tax code to incentivize manufacturing in America.



Aluminum Import Monitoring System Delayed
The Department of Commerce again delayed the Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIM) System launch. Following direction from the Biden Administration’s “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” order of Jan. 20, the Commerce Department delayed the Jan. 25 effective date for its aluminum import monitoring system until March 29. 
Commerce has said that the system is not ready, and the delay will give both companies and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the time needed in advance of the new compliance date. Licenses for covered imported aluminum products will now be required on or after June 28, 2021. In the meantime, the public Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIM) monitor on the AIM system website has been released and Commerce is also going to use this time to help train companies and allow importers to become more familiar with the system. For more information on the system including virtual demonstrations visit: 



D.C. Circuit Suspends Challenge Against Trump Vehicle GHG Rollback
An appellate court has paused litigation on the Trump administration’s rollback of federal standards for fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. 
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) request to suspend proceedings while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) review the regulation. The regulation at issue is part of former President Trump’s Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule, which loosened federal efficiency standards. An Obama-era plan would have required cars to improve efficiency by 5% per year through 2026; the Trump plan lowered the target to 1.5% per year.
As part of the halt in litigation, the court ordered the Biden administration to file status reports on the agencies’ review of the rule every 90 days as the EPA and NHTSA move to craft a stricter standard.



EEOC to Resume Collection of EEO Data
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced on March 29, 2021, that it will resume the collection of EEO-1 Component 1 data on Monday, April 26, 2021. In May 2020, the EEOC postponed the collection of 2019 data due to the pandemic. The deadline for employers to submit 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 data will be Monday, July 19, 2021. 
Employers with at least 100 employees, and federal contractors with 50 or more employees and a federal contract of $50,000 or more must file EEO-1 component 1 data.