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Congressman Krishnamoorthi Introduces the Investing in American Workers Act to Establish a New Worker Training Tax Credit for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses

April 13, 2018
Press Release
Original Sponsors Include Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley and Vice Chair Linda Sánchez

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) today introduced the Investing in American Workers Act (IAWA), partnering with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY), Vice Chair Linda Sánchez (D-CA), and leaders on the House Democratic Caucus New Economy Task Force. IAWA would establish a 20% tax credit for new investments in worker training made by small and mid-sized business. Eligible investments towards worker training and workforce development would include apprenticeships in emerging industries, programs conducted by career and technical education schools, community colleges, labor organizations, and industry partnerships. The legislation was designed to address declines in workforce investment by employers identified in research conducted by the White House Council of Economic Advisers and the Aspen Institute, among others.

“In the last few decades, the percentage of workers receiving employer-sponsored and on-the-job training has decreased dramatically, to the detriment of workers and the competitiveness of our economy,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL). “We need to do everything we can to reverse this trend to help businesses upskill their workforces and increase their productivity while allowing workers to develop the skills they need to qualify for higher wages and adapt in our changing economy. Unlike other recent tax reform proposals, this bill is a win-win-win for businesses, workers, and our economy overall.”                                

“We live in an economy that is vastly different than the one we inherited from the previous generation. As people now engage in multiple jobs throughout their careers, we should ensure businesses have an incentive to keep workers from being left behind by economic and technological shifts,” said Senator Mark Warner ​(D-VA), who introduced the Senate version of the bill. “Our proposal would encourage private employers to do the right thing and invest in their workforce, providing additional training opportunities for lower-and middle-income workers to acquire the skills they need to move up the economic ladder.”

“By making the right investments today, the United States will have the workforce to put our country at the forefront of innovation,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY). “Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s Investing in American Workers Act is a forward-thinking approach to workforce development and job growth that will lift hardworking families and give workers the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”

“In today’s global economy there are more ways to succeed than ever before. The Investing in American Workers Act ensures hard-working Americans have the skills necessary to compete for good paying jobs in the most in-demand industries,” noted House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Linda Sánchez (D-CA). “Expanding apprenticeship programs helps our middle class thrive by closing our skills gap and raising household wages. I applaud Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi and the members of the Democratic Caucus New Economy Task Force for their leadership to create more investments in American workers and grow our economy.”

Employer-sponsored training and on-the-job training has declined significantly since the mid-1990’s, hurting predominantly low and middle-income workers. According to the Council of Economic Advisers, between 1996 and 2008, the percentage of workers receiving employer-sponsored training fell 42%. As noted in a report by the Aspen Institute, the number of formal programs that combined on-the-job learning with mentorships and classroom education fell 40% between 2003 and 2013. The new worker-training tax credit will help combat shifts in labor participation and economic globalization that have left fewer businesses investing in the American workforce, especially for those workers earning less than $82,000 a year who would qualify under the legislation.

Additional original cosponsors include Representatives Susan DelBene (D-WA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Darren Soto (D-FL), Anthony Brown (D-MD), and Ami Bera (D-CA).