Registered Apprenticeship: Federal Role and Recent Federal Efforts. Congressional Research Service. Benjamin Collins. Updated September 25, 2019
Apprenticeship is a workforce development strategy that trains a worker for a specific occupation using a structured combination of paid on-the-job training and related instruction. Increased costs for higher education and possible mismatches between worker skills and employer needs have led to interest in alternative workforce development strategies such as apprenticeship. The primary federal role in supporting apprenticeships is the administration of the registered apprenticeship system. In this system, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) or a DOLrecognized state apprenticeship agency (SAA) is responsible for evaluating apprenticeship programs to determine if they are in compliance with federal regulations related to program design, worker protections, and other criteria. Programs that are in compliance are “registered.” While registration does not trigger any specific federal financial incentives, registered programs may receive preferential consideration in various federal systems and apprentices who complete a registered program receive a nationally-recognized credential.
[PDF format, 18 pages].
Farm Policy: USDA’s 2018 Trade Aid Package. Congressional Research Service. Randy Schnepf et al. June 19, 2019
On early 2018, the Trump Administration—citing concerns over
national security and unfair trade practices—imposed increased tariffs on
certain imported products in general and on U.S. imports from China in
particular. Several of the affected foreign trading partners (including China)
responded to the U.S. tariffs with their own retaliatory tariffs targeting
various U.S. products, especially agricultural commodities.
On July 24, 2018, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would be taking
several temporary actions to assist farmers in response to trade damage from
what the Administration has characterized as “unjustified retaliation.”
Specifically, the Secretary said that USDA would authorize up to $12 billion in
financial assistance—referred to as a trade aid package—for certain
agricultural commodities using Section 5 of the Commodity Credit Corporation
(CCC) Charter Act (15 U.S.C. 714c). USDA intends for the trade aid package to
provide short-term assistance in response to the ongoing trade disputes.
However, the Secretary stated that there would not be further trade-related
financial assistance beyond this $12 billion package. The aid package includes
(1) a Market Facilitation Program (MFP) of direct payments (valued at up to $10
billion) to producers of soybeans, corn, cotton, sorghum, wheat, hogs, and
dairy who are most affected by the trade retaliation (sweet cherries and
almonds were added to this list in September); (2) a Food Purchase and
Distribution Program to partially offset lost export sales of affected
commodities ($1.2 billion); and (3) an Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP)
Program to expand foreign markets ($200 million).
[PDF format, 21 pages].