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Bill considers training tax credit

A bill now in Congress promises a tax credit to contractors involved in apprenticeship training programs. Sponsor of the “Skilled Workforce Enhancement Act” (H.R. 1824) is Rep. James M. Talent (R-MO).

The amount of tax credit stated in the bill is $15,000 per employee per year for employees or former employees who received at least 2,000 hrs of training, including on-the-job training.

John Herzog, ACCA’s director of government relations, reports that the bill already has 45 cosponsors in the House. Also, Rep. Talent’s staff is asking ACCA members to report on accreditation and costs of apprenticeship training.

During their recent national meeting, chapter executives were on Capitol Hill to lobby for the bill. Some members of Congress are not taking a firm position until better information is available about what it will cost.

However, observers believe that with enough enthusiastic support from this industry and others, members might be persuaded to find the necessary dollars to pass the bill. Passage would affect employment and therefore the economy.

It’s up to this industry to stand up and be counted today. Not a few leaders in your chapter, not one person chosen to represent the entire chapter, but every member needs to be heard from individually — not by form letter, but from his own heart.

Among the bill’s enthusiastic supporters is Steve Faulkner, who comments that “Most owners are driven by money. The $15,000 tax credit would move them toward establishing such a program or participating in an existing one.”

Says Richard Foard, “The Talent bill would be a slam-dunk for us. Also, it would be a wake-up call to other contractors to get involved.”

Make your voice heard on both sides of the aisles and in both houses of Congress. Persuade your friends in other skill trades to join this action. Something like a million individual voices has a crescendo sound.

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