WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — The Biden administration said Thursday it is providing $244 million to expand and update the federal government’s Registered Apprenticeship Program.

The funding is the highest sum in the apprenticeship program’s history, with the money going to 32 states and 52 grantees.

White House Domestic Policy Adviser Neera Tanden and Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su are announcing the financial commitment in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

“This really is a stark contrast to where Republicans are writ large,” Tanden said. “While previous administrations tried to talk about this or use it as a talking point, this administration has really delivered.”

The House Republican budget plan would cut the apprenticeship program by 47%.

The latest figures from U.S. Department of Labor show there are 641,044 registered apprenticeships, an increase from the Donald Trump administration, when apprenticeships peaked in 2020, at 569,311.

Both Biden and Trump have pledged to boost opportunities for blue-collar workers. Biden’s policies to support new factories for computer chips, batteries and other products have corresponded with a surge in construction spending for manufacturing facilities, but companies say they need more workers for those projects to succeed.

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