By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, April 15, US Representatives Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) and Terri Sewell (D-Selma) have reintroduced the bipartisan Workforce Development Tax Credit Act.
Congressman Byrne said in a written statement, “The workforce needs in the United States are rapidly changing, and skills training is becoming more important than ever before. That’s why I am proud to join my friend and colleague Terri Sewell in introducing the Workforce Development Tax Credit Act. By encouraging businesses to partner with community colleges and universities to advance workforce training initiatives, we can help connect Americans with the skills they need to get a job and meet growing industry demands.”
Congresswoman Sewell said in a statement, “A strong manufacturing sector is crucial for our nation’s economic growth and prosperity. The Workforce Development Tax Credit Act encourages businesses to work with community colleges and universities to develop apprenticeship programs that will lead to more skilled workers. Emphasizing skills training will enable our country to maintain its competitive edge, and help bring more Americans into the middle class. I am proud to sponsor this bill with Bradley Byrne, my friend and fellow Alabamian, and I look forward to its passage.”
George Clark is the President of Manufacture Alabama, Chairman of the Alabama Workforce Investment Board, and the Vice-Chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council. President Clark said, “The Workforce Development Tax Credit Act is in total alignment with the goals of the Alabama Workforce Investment Board and with the recommendations made by the Alabama Workforce Council regarding public/private partnerships.”
The bill’s sponsors assert that the bill would prepares our workforce for manufacturing jobs by providing federal tax credits for businesses that offer apprenticeship programs as well as additional credits for companies that hire apprentices. The Manufacturing Institute claims that nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled over the next decade; however, approximately 2 million of those jobs could go unfilled due to a skilled worker shortage. The Workforce Development Tax Credit Act of 2015 is designed to close the skills gap and encourages job creation by providing federal tax credits to employers that create apprenticeship programs. Businesses that subsequently hire and retain apprentices for at least one year post-apprenticeship would receive an additional tax credit.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell represents Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District and Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.