February 09, 2021

Moulton’s CHANCE in Tech Act Passes House

Washington, D.C. – Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that includes a tech sector apprenticeship program designed by Representatives Seth Moulton and Jaime Herrera Beutler. The lawmakers introduced the plan as the CHANCE in Tech Act. The key parts of that legislation are included as a section of The National Apprenticeship Act, a larger package of apprenticeship bills that passed today.

“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.”

Aaron Cooper, Vice President, Global Policy at BSA | The Software Alliance, said, “The tech industry supports millions of jobs in every sector, yet many workers cannot take advantage of these openings because they cannot easily access training and reskilling programs. Apprenticeships are key to ensure that people can quickly learn the skills they need to access emerging opportunities in tech. We applaud Representatives Moulton and Beutler for their leadership on this issue and hope to see the CHANCE in Tech Act enacted into law.”

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, Mass. 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, which serve as 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 in 2017. Rep. Herrera Beutler, a Republican from Washington state, has been his bipartisan ally on the bill for the last four years. 

The CHANCE in Tech Act passed in the House of Representatives in November of 2020 as part of a larger package of apprenticeship legislation. Unfortunately the Senate did not pass a similar measure and the bill died last year at the end of the Congress. Moulton is more optimistic about the bill’s chances with the new Senate and Democratic control of the White House.

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.

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 in 2020 for providing the best constituent services in Congress. The award cited Moulton and his team’s partnership with Code For Boston which built 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.