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Hillary Clinton: “I really support union apprenticeship programs.”

image by ABC News

image by ABC News

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has spent much of the 2016 election season focusing on job creation and the economy. She often describes “building an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top” and “offering real solutions to create more good-paying jobs and get incomes rising across the board.” She seems especially interested in the economic fortunes of young people entering the workforce during the post-Great-Recession era. 

Apprenticeship programs, in particular, have made their way into her platform. Last year at Trident Technical College in North Charleston, South Carolina, Clinton voiced her support for apprenticeship programs during a recently resurfaced Q&A:

The trades, the construction unions, they’ve had a history of apprenticeship programs…Studies show that if you put a construction worker on the job who has had a training program, either from the union or, in some cases, the contractor, that worker will be more productive and safer, and likely to get that job done in an efficient and timely way. So I really support union apprenticeship programs.

She goes on to highlight the proven link between wages and union representation:

It is important to look at the link…between wages and union representation. If you look at how the middle class developed in our country, particularly in the 30s, the 40s, and the 50s, part of it was because they had representation that stood up for not only wages, but safe working conditions.

On her website, Hillary outlines her plan to support apprenticeship programs if elected. She describes, among other things, a tax credit for businesses that hire apprentices:

Hillary’s workforce and skills agenda will help people get good jobs with good wages throughout their careers…As part of this agenda, Hillary is calling for a tax credit for businesses that hire apprentices, providing much needed on-the-job training—especially for young Americans.

Her plan would put forward a tax credit for businesses of $1,500 per apprentice and would insist on accountability for employment and earnings outcomes for programs receiving the credit. Hillary’s plan will also grant a bonus on that tax credit to businesses for providing opportunities specifically for young people.

Clinton also details her understanding of the intimate link between job training and youth employment. There is an entire section on her website dedicated to millennials entering the workforce:

While we’ve created nearly 15 million new jobs since coming out of the Great Recession, we still have a lot of work to do to make sure everyone who wants to work can find a good-paying job – particularly for millennials, who now make up roughly one third of the workforce.

[…] Roughly one in ten Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 is unemployed, more than twice the national average. And these numbers hide devastating racial disparities: the unemployment rate for African American millennials between the ages of 16-24 is roughly twice that of white millennials while the unemployment rate for Latino millennials is more than 10 percent higher.

The second presidential debate, taking place on Sunday, October 9th, is taking on a town hall format with questions by everyday audience members, so jobs and the economy are sure to be a focal point.


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