Special to the Journal
The House of Representatives passed legislation to create the tech sector apprenticeships Rep. Seth Moulton designed in his CHANCE in Tech Act. The key parts of Moulton’s bill were included in The National Apprenticeship Act, a larger package of apprenticeship bills.
“Apprenticeships aren’t vestiges of a bygone era, they’re the future. Our country is stronger when people have the skills to find fulfilling jobs and companies have people who can explore and innovate on the job,” Moulton said. “Even during a period of record unemployment, thousands of good jobs in the tech sector are unfilled simply because Americans lack the skills to land the job. By passing my bill, Congress will help close the gap.”
Tommy Ross, Senior Director, Policy at BSA | The Software Alliance said: “New pathways to dynamic tech jobs are key to broaden and diversify the workforce. Software jobs are growing in every state across the country, and everyone should be able to take advantage of these opportunities. The apprenticeships created by the CHANCE in Tech Act will help equip Americans with the skills they need for 21st-century jobs. We’re pleased the CHANCE in Tech Act was included in the National Apprenticeship Act. We applaud Representative Moulton for his leadership and thank the House for passing this important legislation.”
Moulton introduced The Chance in Tech Act in 2017 as a way to create pathways for people looking to obtain tech jobs but who had no prior experience. After meeting with EBSCO Information Services of Ipswich and similar tech employers in his community, Rep. Moulton realized the gap between the many tech jobs available and the relatively small pool of workers able to fill them was something Congress could help close. If the bill is passed by the Senate and signed into law by the president, the government will be able to contract with industry intermediaries, matchmakers who connect apprenticeship programs and employers, to promote apprenticeship programs in the tech sector. Moulton returned to EBSCO to introduce the bill in a ceremony.
The CHANCE in Tech Act is part of a broader push by Rep. Moulton to modernize how America does business. In the past few months, Moulton has focused on updating archaic government systems.
In July, the House passed H.R. 2, a major transportation bill which included the key parts of Moulton’s SAFE DRIVERS Act, which will allow Departments and Registries of Motor Vehicles to share data across state lines. Moulton introduced the bill in September following a fatal June 21, 2019 crash in New Hampshire where a commercially-licensed truck driver who should not have had a license plowed into a group of motorcyclists, many of whom were Marine veterans as they traveled to a charity event. Investigators discovered incidents in Texas and Connecticut that should have prevented the driver of the truck that hit the motorcyclists from keeping a license. Almost a year after the bill’s introduction, the Boston Globe cited it in an investigative series as something that could prevent one of the many failures that allowed the truck driver to say on the road despite several incidents that should have caused Massachusetts to revoke his license.
A 2019 study from Georgetown University on government modernization used Moulton’s office as a case study for how to integrate technology into public service. Moulton and his team earned an award this year for providing the best constituent services in Congress, in part because his team partnered with Code For Boston to build an app that helps civil servants accurately calculate their retirement. The team recognized the issue after several teachers and other public servants came to the office for help. People were using a Social Security Administration calculator that did not account for a policy called the Windfall Elimination Provision, which limited the amount of public benefits public workers can receive when they retire. As a result, the calculator showed people they would retire with significantly more money than they actually ended up with, and many of the constituents did not get the real number until after they retired.