© Greg Nash
President Obama on Tuesday will propose a $2.5 billion tax credit over five years for businesses that invest in local community colleges and hire their graduates, administration officials told Reuters.
The Community College Partnership Tax Credit, which will be formally proposed in the president’s fiscal 2017 budget, would give employers who invest in schools and hire students from such programs a one-time $5,000 tax credit per individual.
“Employers can define those skills and help colleges develop the curriculum that teaches them,” James Kvaal, White House deputy director of domestic policy, told Reuters.
The administration estimated the initiative would help train 500,000 highly skilled workers over five years.
Ted Mitchell, under secretary at the Department of Education, said the proposal would receive bipartisan support.
“The idea of … bringing together community colleges and the local employer base is a very powerful one and really doesn’t break along party lines,” he said.
Under the president’s proposal, states would get a portion of the tax credit and be responsible for choosing which businesses and community colleges participate in the program.
The administration believes the program will spur employers to propose curriculums uniquely tailored to their labor needs.