Introduction of The Apprenticeship, Training and Employment Act
By Wayne Allard
Marian Marshall has been working very hard to put together the introduction of S. 1625, the Apprenticeship Training and Education Act of 2003. The bill will provide up to $10,000 per year for the first two years of a four year apprenticeship training program and companies that have apprenticeship training programs approved by either the Department of Labor?s Bureau of Apprenticeship Training or the State Apprenticeship Council can hire three new apprentices per year. The bill also gives hiring preference to minorities and service veterans.
The following is a copy of the floor statement which introduces S. 1625:
Statement by Senator Wayne Allard
The Apprenticeship, Training and Employment Act of 2003
Mr. President, it gives me great pleasure to introduce today a bill to provide a tax credit for apprenticeship training programs for various construction trades recognized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), including masonry, electrical contract work, plumbing and heating and a host of other important vocations.
There are several reasons why I believe this legislation is necessary for apprenticeship training in these trades. First and foremost, these are highly skilled trades requiring many years of training. Second, there is a significant shortage of workers in these trades; in fact it is my understanding that many contractors often have to look outside the country to find a craftsman trained in one of these particular fields. Third, the average age of some of the workers in these crafts is over 50 and we must make every effort to ensure that we retain and recruit the most capable people in these jobs. And finally, many of these industries are very capital intensive and it makes sense to me to offer small businesses a short term tax credit to encourage productivity and stimulate economic growth and job creation.
During the last Congress a similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Foley of Florida. Regrettably the bill was not met with a great deal of enthusiasm, primarily due to the price tag attached to it. The legislation I am introducing, the Apprenticeship Training and Education Act of 2003, has been modified to address budgetary concerns as well as the concerns of those in some of the building trades that the apprenticeship training programs were indeed legitimate ones that would ultimately produce certified craftsmen. I greatly appreciate the assistance of the Mason Contractors Association of America and the Independent Electrical Contractors in crafting a bill that is fiscally responsible and credible.
Mr. President, I believe this tax credit will go a long way towards encouraging companies with a certified apprenticeship program to hire and train new workers. As the population of these workers continues to age and decline, it is absolutely essential that we look for ways to attract more, younger workers to what I believe to be excellent, high-paying and high skilled jobs in these construction trades.
Under my bill, a tax credit of up to $10,000 per year for the first two years of a four year program would be provided and companies could hire three new apprentices each year. The normal business deduction taken for this expense would be offset by the amount of the tax credit. The bill also specifically targets trades in the construction industry recognized by the BLS and only those programs certified by a state?s or the federal Department of Labor would qualify for the credit.
In my view there are many companies across the country that would benefit tremendously from this tax credit. I commend this legislation to my colleagues and urge them to cosponsor it with me. These are jobs and trades to be proud of and I encourage other members of this body to promote the skills and education necessary to keep them viable in the United States.
About the Author
U.S. Senator Wayne Allard is a Colorado veterinarian committed to cutting taxes, returning power and responsibility to state and local governments and assuring the security of America both at home and abroad as well as restoring economic prosperity.