A practice that dates back to Ancient Babylonia, artisans and craftsmen were required to teach their craft to an up-and-coming generation in order to ensure an adequate number of craftsmen in the future. Here in the U.S., key figures in our history once served as apprentices to craftsmen, including George Washington – a surveyor’s apprentice, Benjamin Franklin – a printer’s apprentice, and Paul Revere – a silversmith’s apprentice. While the concept of apprenticeships has been around for centuries and has really never gone away, an innovative approach to the concept is on its way to the Georgia Senate floor with the recent filing of SB 379.
The official summary of SB 379 is “a bill to be enacted an act to amend Chapter 4 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to vocational, technical, and adult education, so as to provide for the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia to establish a program to promote the creation and expansion of registered apprenticeship programs in the state; to provide the purpose of such program; to authorize the board to enter into contracts with employer sponsors for the successful completion of the education, training, and other requirements of apprentices in Georgia; to provide application requirements and procedures; to authorize contract completion awards; to require the board to create and publish a list of high-demand jobs in Georgia; to require a report; to authorize the acceptance of grants and other funds; to provide for definitions; to provide for rules and regulations; to provide for a repealer; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.” In a nutshell, this bi-partisan bill leans into the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) to expand apprenticeship programs in our state to include workers of at least 15-years-old – making them available for immediate occupation in high-demand career areas in exchange for a wage, training and a trade certificate from TCSG.
For eight years in a row, Georgia has been honored to be the number one state in which to do business. Because of the leadership of Governor Kemp and the policies supported by the Georgia General Assembly, Georgia has come out of COVID even stronger, and is now seeing businesses flock to our state to take advantage of the business-friendly environment we have created. As a result, we have the lowest unemployment rate in the history of this state and those looking for work have never had as many opportunities to find a job as they do today. On the other side of the coin, business owners with demand for the product or service they are providing are struggling to hire and retain workers. SB 379 goes directly to the heart of this need, supplying them with an immediate workforce while granting that workforce the training needed for a successful career. It’s a concept that would appeal to many young people that have a desire to work now and do not wish to spend tens of thousands of dollars to try to earn a degree that they may never use.
It’s really no wonder why this bill is receiving bi-partisan support… it’s one where EVERYBODY wins. Aspiring workers will get to reap the benefit of a personal investment in a position and have the opportunity to build a career now instead of bouncing from temporary job to temporary job or taking on numerous loans to go down the perceived traditional route of higher education. The business owner will receive support to help foster long-term employee relationships while building the workforce they so desperately need now. And because the focus of this bill is on high-demand career areas, SB 379 will allow Georgia to double down on the federal apprenticeship program and provide opportunities for employers to apply to be sponsors of an apprentice under the guidance of State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia. Long story short, it makes Georgia even business-friendlier! Not limited to 15-year-olds alone, it sets forth the framework for Georgia to invest in building new relationships between business owners and students, as well as those looking for a second career or any citizen of this state who wants to earn the opportunity to build a meaningful career.
Still have questions about SB 379? As one of the sponsors of this bill, I invite you to reach out to me – Senator Brian Strickland – personally at 678.583.4865 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also message me on social media: @StricklandforGA on Twitter, @StricklandforGA on Facebook or @StricklandforGA on Instagram. To learn more about me and other issues impacting Georgians that I’m passionate about, please visit my website at www.BrianStricklandforGeorgia.com.
Sources: U.S. Department of Labor https://www.apprenticeship.gov/about-us/our-history
In 2023 the Georgia State Senate District 17 will encompass parts of Walton, Newton, Henry, and Morgan with over 150,000 registered voters. Brian Strickland entered his third full term in the Georgia Senate in 2021. Brian, his wife Lindsay, and their two children reside in McDonough, GA. Through Brian’s leadership position at the capitol where he fights for District 17, and all of Georgia, he has impacted Georgia for the better through various executed actions. Not only did Brian support the First Responder bill which aids police, firefighter, and EMS personnel but he was a key player in the passing of the Georgia Criminal Justice reform bills and Georgia Surprise Medical bills. Above and beyond that, Brian labored to bring funding to Southern Crescent Technical College making it one of the top technical schools in Georgia and is constantly raising the bar in the fight against human trafficking.