New report suggests DOL misused taxpayer dollars and misled Congress
WASHINGTON – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement in response to a press report alleging that the Department of Labor illegally diverted taxpayer money away from successful Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs to fund Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs), an unproven concept that would weaken quality standards and worker protections.
“We have repeatedly asked the Department of Labor about allegations that it misused money that Congress allocated for Registered Apprenticeship programs. It now appears the Department’s responses have been inconsistent with its actions. There is clear evidence that the Department made several false statements to Congress and diverted millions of taxpayer dollars away from the popular and successful Registered Apprenticeship programs, which has overwhelming bipartisan support.
“In addition, the Department’s most recent claim that it only misspent roughly one million dollars on IRAPs is difficult to square with the substantial amount of work assigned to multiple contractors to advance this initiative, in contradiction to Congress’ directive. Ultimately, the victims of this scheme are American workers who could have benefited from Registered Apprenticeship opportunities. Every dollar the Department wasted on unproven Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs is one less dollar that could have been invested in expanding Registered Apprenticeship programs, which have a proven record of creating good-paying jobs.”
According to the Department of Labor, there is now a 94 percent placement rate at the completion of an apprenticeship program, and average starting wage of $70,000.
Chairman Scott sent three letters to contractors on Monday requesting information about their work with the Department on IRAPs. To read the letters click here, here, and here. The Committee on Education and Labor is holding an oversight hearing on November 20 at 2 p.m. with Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John Pallasch to discuss the Department’s actions with regards to IRAPs.
Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853
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