Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation celebrated the passage of House Bill 4390. Currently, a new industry-recognized apprenticeship program (IRAP) cannot operate and receive funding in Texas without first conforming to the rules and regulations set by the U.S. Department of Labor. This legislation will allow our Texas Workforce Commission to certify new programs as IRAPs, giving Texas the flexibility and responsiveness to meet the skills gap.

“Under our IRAP program — or Texas apprenticeships — the student is the product. Students will complete the apprenticeship with transferable skills, work experience, and a job with their program sponsor,” said Jorge Borrego, postsecondary education analyst for TPPF’s Next Generation Texas initiative, in his testimony before the Texas Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Economic Development. “We are facing a skilled workforce chasm, as we are estimated to have a shortage of thousands of skilled workers by 2030. The Texas IRAP program will be a vital tool in closing our skills gap.”

“Apprenticeships offer a valuable alternative to traditional education, providing individuals with practical skills and employment,” said the legislation’s author, Rep. Angie Chen Button (R-Richardson). “HB 4390 is a win-win solution, benefiting both individuals and our state’s broader economy.”