Reps. Lipinski and Davis Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Boost Jobs in Skilled Trades
U.S. Reps. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) and Rodney Davis (IL-13) have introduced bipartisan legislation, the Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs (LEAP) Act, to reinvigorate America’s apprenticeship programs in skilled industries.
“Millions of hard working Americans continue to struggle to find work, while millions of jobs are left unfilled because companies are unable to find qualified workers,” said Rep. Lipinski. “This problem is not going to go away on its own. In an effort to better prepare our nation’s workforce for today and tomorrow, and to ensure that Americans fill these positions, it’s imperative that Congress approve the LEAP Act. It’s a win-win for both employers and employees, and the bill would be fully paid for through an offset.”
The need for qualified candidates for essential jobs in industries such as construction, electric, welding, and pipe fitting is significant and growing. By 2018, a recent Georgetown study projects there will be shortages of between three and five million skilled workers.
“This commonsense, bipartisan legislation will take an essential step towards combating these significant problems by providing an incentive driven approach to get more companies to promote and offer apprenticeship programs, and get more Americans trained and into the workforce,” said Rep. Davis.
Key components of the LEAP Act include:
· Offering a federal tax credit for hiring new apprentices that are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency.
· Addressing the fact that the average age of apprentices is currently as high as 29 by offering a tax credit of $1,500 for apprentices under 25. The tax credit for apprentices over 25 is $1,000.
· Being fully paid for through an offset: cutting printing waste by barring the federal government from producing publications that are available online with an exception for seniors, Medicare recipients, and in communities with limited internet access.
Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
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