WASHINGTON, DC — To help solve the supply problem of highly skilled workers, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) announced its support of H.R. 4781, the Apprenticeship Act of 2000, introduced by Rep. Roger Wicker (R-MS).

The legislation amends the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937 to bring accountability to the approval process of apprenticeship programs and ensure registration of all legitimate programs in a timely fashion.

Under the current system, apprentice programs seeking approval from the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT) or a federally approved State Apprenticeship Council (SAC) often encounter significant delays and regulatory hurdles. H.R. 4781 would require the BAT or SAC to act on applications within 90 days after an application is submitted.

“The responsibility for training skilled workers has fallen squarely on the shoulders of business and it is absolutely imperative that we be able to train apprentices in a timely and efficient manner,” said Anthony Shaker, president of ACCA, and ceo of Boston-based BALCO, Inc.