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Sen. Stabenow Introduces Postsecondary Job Training Bill

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December 12, 2013

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Sen. Stabenow Introduces Postsecondary Job Training Bill

On December 10, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced legislation to establish a federal tax-credit-matching program to complement existing programs in states that provide a “new jobs training” tax credit. The New Skills for New Jobs Act (S. 1795) is modeled after a state program in Michigan which allows employers to enter into training contracts with community colleges to train individuals for new jobs created by the employer.

Established in 2008, the Michigan New Jobs Training Program supports employers creating new jobs by authorizing community colleges to finance the cost of training for eligible new jobs. The training cost is then repaid by redirecting the state income tax generated by the new employee to the community college. The federal proposal under S. 1795 would provide a federal match to the state income tax paid to the community college, this match would decrease the repayment period to community colleges by half and allow them to train additional individuals.

S. 1795 also requires that contracts between the community college and employer ensure that the employer will hire individuals for full-time employment and that individuals hired will receive a wage that is not less than 175% of the federal minimum wage or another amount established by the state program, whichever is greater.

ACTE worked with Sen. Stabenow’s office in the introduction of this bill, and we believe that it provides an incentive for more states to enact programs similar to the Michigan program. We would however, like to see the program expanded to include training provided not only by community colleges, but also public, non-degree-granting postsecondary institutions, such as area CTE schools. These institutions provide effective, short-term skill training programs and expanding this opportunity to those institutions would be a benefit to employers who require skilled employees in a timely fashion.

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