Senators seek tax credits for apprenticeships

Senators seek tax credits for apprenticeships
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A bipartisan group of senators are introducing legislation to create a $5,000 tax credit for employers that provide apprenticeship programs to train workers in high-demand fields.

Sens. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellOvernight Energy: Supreme Court reinstates fast-track pipeline permit except for Keystone XL | Judge declines to reverse Dakota Access Pipeline shutdown OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Watchdog accuses Commerce of holding up 'Sharpiegate' report | Climate change erases millennia of cooling: study | Senate nixes proposal limiting Energy Department's control on nuclear agency budget Senate nixes proposal limiting Energy Department's control on nuclear agency budget MORE (D-Wash.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSusan Collins proposes 16 debates against challenger Gideon The Hill's Campaign Report: New polls show Biden leading by landslide margins Major LGBTQ rights group endorses Collins opponent for the first time in decades MORE (R-Maine), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineFinger-pointing, gridlock spark frustration in Senate Russian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Overnight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police MORE (D-Va.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandBiden campaign announces second round of staff hires in Arizona Democrats seek to tie GOP candidates to Trump, DeVos Democratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights MORE (D-N.Y.) unveiled the Apprenticeship and Jobs Training Act of 2015 on Wednesday, hours after President Obama announced that the administration is putting $175 million toward apprenticeship programs across the country.

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In addition to the $5,000 credit, employers that participate in a multi-employer apprenticeship program would get the $3 credit rate for each hour an individual works.

It would also allow senior employees near retirement to draw from pensions early if they’re involved in mentoring or training new employees.  Those workers would have to be at least 55 years old and have reduced work hours to spend at least 20 percent of their time training or educating employees or students.

In a news release, Cantwell said apprenticeship programs are a critical component to closing the skills gap in high growth industries like healthcare, aerospace and information technology.

“When American workers have the training and skills they need, the United States is better equipped to tackle the competitive challenges and opportunities of the 21st century global economy,” she said.

Citing a Department of Labor study, the lawmakers said workers who finish apprenticeships earn an average of $240,000 more in wages over a lifetime than job seekers with similar work experience.