Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-7) and Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) reintroduced the Workforce Development Tax Credit Act (H.R. 1781), a bipartisan bill that prepares our workforce for manufacturing jobs by providing federal tax credits for businesses that offer apprenticeship programs and additional tax credits for companies that hire apprentices.

The Manufacturing Institute says nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled over the next decade; however, approximately 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled due to a skilled labor shortage.

“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,” said Rep. Sewell.

“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,” Rep. Byrne.

"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," said George Clark, President of Manufacture Alabama, Chairman of the Alabama Workforce Investment Board, and Vice-Chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council.

Reps. Chris Van Hollen (MD-8), Joseph Crowley (NY-14), Tim Ryan (OH-17), Raul Ruiz (CA-36) and John Carney (DE-At Large) are original co-sponsors of the bill.

“Apprenticeship programs are a critical tool to bridge the skills gap and help employers train and hire workers for jobs that strengthen our economy,” said Rep. Van Hollen, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee. “I am proud to stand with Representatives Sewell and Byrne and support this common-sense approach to incentivize apprenticeships and help connect workers to good-paying jobs in my home state of Maryland and across the country.”

“Apprenticeships are an effective method for giving Americans the specified, hands-on experience they need in order to obtain a secure, good-paying job,” said Rep. Joe Crowley, Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus. “We should do everything we can to incentivize the creation of these programs, which have a demonstrated record of success. I’m proud to join Reps. Sewell and Byrne in introducing this critical legislation.”

 “Manufacturing is the backbone of the American economy, but in order for this industry to continue to grow and thrive we must have a skilled workforce. That is why I am happy to join my colleagues in introducing the bipartisan Workforce Development Tax Credit Act. This legislation will ensure that we have apprenticeship programs to prepare our young people for today’s job market. This tax credit will help us remain a world leader and on the cutting edge in manufacturing,” said Rep. Ryan.

“Since I first came to Congress, reinvigorating the manufacturing sector has been among my top priorities. The revitalization of the manufacturing sector is essential to creating stronger economic growth and securing the financial future of working families. I am proud to join colleagues on both sides of the aisle in co-sponsoring the Workforce Development Tax Credit Act, which creates fruitful new partnerships between the business community and institutions of higher learning to provide new training and apprenticeship opportunities, and to help address the industry’s need for more skilled labor,” said Rep. Carney.

Highlights of the Bill

The Workforce Development Tax Credit Act of 2015 would close the skill gap and encourage job creation by providing federal tax credits to employers that create apprenticeship programs. An additional tax credit is offered to businesses that subsequently hire and retain apprentices for at least one year post-apprenticeship.

The goals of this bill are to train workers for skilled manufacturing jobs, assist companies in creating recruitment pipelines and decreasing costly turnover, and provide incentives for businesses to manufacture in America.