Nov 19 2015

Fischer Joins Bill to Support Apprentice Programs

LEAP Act Offers New Approach to Addressing High Unemployment by Providing Incentives for Businesses to Hire and Train Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) joined Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to cosponsor their bill, which encourages apprenticeships and the training of workers with relevant skills. S. 574 – the Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs (LEAP) Act would offer businesses a tax credit for each new apprentice they hire. Senator Fischer released the following statement regarding the bill this afternoon:

“The American labor force has a skills gap problem: nearly eight million workers are unemployed while more than five million jobs are waiting for workers with relevant skills.

“This bill would help match individuals with job opportunities by offering tax credits to businesses who hire and train apprentices. With this common-sense proposal, we can strengthen our workforce and provide businesses with more incentives to succeed and grow.” 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately eight million Americans are unemployed, and 5.5 million positions remain unfilled. Many employers have indicated the number one reason they cannot fill open positions is a lack of candidates with relevant skills. Meanwhile, apprenticeships are a proven way to help people develop in-demand skills in a cost-effective manner.

The LEAP Act would offer businesses a tax credit of $1,000 in wages per taxable year for each new apprentice hired. It would also offer a $1,500 tax credit for apprentices under the age of 25. In either case, the credit can be claimed for a maximum of two years. 

A study by Mathematica Policy Research estimated that individuals who have completed a registered apprenticeship program earn, on average, an additional $240,000 more over their careers. That comes to a taxable return of $27 on every federal dollar invested in registered apprentice programs. 

The Nebraska Department of Labor reports that there are currently 364 registered occupation sponsors in the state, with new apprenticeship opportunities added regularly. At a time when student loan debt is at a record level, the LEAP Act offers individuals a cost-effective and proven route to professional success.  

Click here to learn more about the LEAP Act and read the bill’s text.


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