CompTIA Hails IT Training Tax Credit Bill
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) hosted a hearing late last week on Capitol Hill to hail the U.S. House introduction of the TRAIN Act, introduced by Representative Jerry Weller (R-IL) and other congressional leaders. The IT Training Tax credit Bill or TRAIN Act will facilitate greater training and re-skilling opportunities through a tax credit of up to $5,000 on approved expenses for qualified information and communications technology (ICT) training, helping American workers and the companies that employ them stay more competitive here and abroad.
The tax credit can be used by employed and unemployed workers, as well as employers, and can be applied to a broad range of programs from vocational and private certification courses to related college expenses essential to skill acquisition. The tax credit provides incentives to employers and small businesses, which are typically less able to afford training costs and lack the manpower to keep up with paperwork required to qualify for other support programs.
In order to keep up with the rapid rate of technological changes, expanded ICT skills education and training across most U.S. industries is essential to create a more effective and productive workforce. “Technology is changing just about every job in the U.S. economy,” said Martin Bean, chief operating officer of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers. “Therefore, IT by definition will be a high-growth area throughout the 21st century because IT is part of just about every job. So it’s not just the software programmers and network engineers, technology change is going to impact just about every American worker. I think what’s great about this bill is that it’s a statement that we’re committed to keeping the American workforce competitive. That as we continue to see global sourcing, what’s important is that we continue to invest in our own workers to ensure that they have jobs today and going forward. I believe that it’s better to retrain workers while they have jobs rather than waiting until they lose them. (The TRAIN Act) also recognizes that there’s an enormous amount of retraining that takes place today in the workplace funded by employers and individuals, and they should get some help as they make that investment. The act is also flexible enough that it recognizes that training takes place in many different ways.
“It takes place in four-year colleges, in community colleges, on the job; and it actually gives support in all of those areas. It also recognizes that credentials are important. The bill contemplates that certifications and other credentials should be part of it because what workers really need is the ability to prove that they’ve got the skills as well as doing the training itself.”
Bean added that for the TRAIN Act to be successful, it has to be a public-private partnership of learning because that’s the most effective strategy for American workers. “What I love about the TRAIN bill is that it’s a positive, proactive step to be able to get support to retrain workers while they’ve got jobs or when they lose jobs to make sure they have the skills necessary to get back to work, to innovate, to take advantage of the growth in the overall economy not just the IT sector,” he said.
For more information, visit http://www.comptia.org/pressroom/get_news_item.asp?id=444.