WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves, and Switzerland’s President Guy Parmelin signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today to expand apprenticeships among Swiss companies and Swiss-invested companies in the United States, and to promote job creation in both countries. Swiss companies actively invest in U.S. manufacturing and directly support more than 500,000 U.S. jobs, with an average annual salary of $101,800.
The signing took place at the Department of Labor’s Frances Perkins Building as the nation marks the 7th annual National Apprenticeship Week, Nov. 15-21. The weeklong celebration allows labor and business leaders, educational institutions, career seekers, and other partners to demonstrate support for apprenticeships in preparing a highly skilled, diverse workforce to meet the talent needs of employers and train Americans for good-paying jobs across multiple industries.
“I’m proud that the Department of Education and our partners across the Biden Administration are committed to ensuring that all Americans, especially those in historically underserved and marginalized communities, have the right skills to reemerge from the pandemic stronger than ever,” said Secretary Cardona. “The $122 billion American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund gives America’s high school students a path to rewarding and high-paying careers through work-based learning and career and technical education, and this partnership will allow more students to benefit from these opportunities.”
Specifically, the MOU will promote the exchange of ideas and best practices for expanding apprenticeship programs in both countries. Similar memoranda have bolstered U.S. efforts to establish new apprenticeship programs, increase awareness of opportunities, and create career pathways for Registered Apprentices.
“Registered apprenticeships are a proven learn-while-you-earn model and path to good paying, middle-class jobs,” said Secretary Walsh. “Swiss-owned businesses have long demonstrated the value of this approach and with greater engagement with Switzerland and other partners, we can increase foreign investment in the U.S. and expand opportunities for American workers.”