Biden to tap new labor board top cop, rescind Trump apprenticeship program

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President Joe Biden has tapped Jennifer Abruzzo, an attorney with the Communications Workers of America, to become the federal labor board’s top cop, according to an advance copy of the announcement obtained by POLITICO.

Abruzzo, a former deputy general counsel at the National Labor Relations Board, will replace Trump-appointed General Counsel Peter Robb, who was ousted by Biden last month in a rare exercise of executive power over the labor board.

“Abruzzo will bring her more than two decades of experience and knowledge at the NLRB to help rebuild America’s middle class,” The White House said in a statement. “Abruzzo will be an important member in supporting the NLRB’s work to build a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive economy that delivers every American a fair return for their work and an equal chance to get ahead.”

Ahead of a White House meeting with labor officials Wednesday afternoon, the president also plans to revoke former President Donald Trump’s executive order creating an industry-led apprenticeship program, which sought to reduce the federal government’s role in creating and monitoring such training opportunities.

The Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program created as a result of Trump’s order has been criticized by Democrats, who warned that it did not allow the government to properly oversee the programs it was funding for quality control and effectiveness.

The White House argues that the program has “fewer quality standards” than registered apprenticeship programs that are overseen by the Labor Department. Biden’s Wednesday executive action will direct the agency to issue a rulemaking to dismantle the Trump-era program and reinstate a National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships to provide guidance to the agency.

Biden instead is endorsing Democrats’ National Apprenticeship Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support earlier this month. That bill would expand registered apprenticeship, youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, an effort that Democrats say will create nearly 1 million new job training opportunities and generate billions of dollars in benefits for taxpayers.

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