Axne Works to Advance Legislation that Helps Small Businesses and Workers

November 13, 2019
Press Release
By assisting employers, workers stand to benefit through skills training opportunities

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) announced introduction of legislation that will give small and mid-sized businesses a tax credit for workers training. 

Today’s fast-paced economy requires regular training to elevate and maintain Americans’ competitive skills so they don’t fall behind,” said Congresswoman Cindy Axne (D-IA).I know that when companies invest in high-quality workforce training programs, both the worker and the company succeed. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Investing in American Workers Act to encourage companies to help train their workers in the skills they need to thrive in the new economy.

Rep. Axne joined Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08) and colleagues in introducing the Investing in American Workers Act. This bill would establish a 20% tax credit for small and mid-sized businesses that invest in workforce training for their employees. These businesses will invest in apprenticeship programs, work with career and technical education schools, and partner with community colleges, labor organizations and other industry groups. The legislation will reduce inequality in America by encouraging companies to provide lower-skilled workers with training to improve their skills and move up the ranks.

Our economy is changing as a result of the ever-evolving technological landscape, yet the percentage of workers receiving employer-sponsored and on-the-job training has decreased dramatically in the last few decades,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL).Investing in our workers increases efficiency, and, in turn, allows the U.S. to better compete in the global economy. By upskilling our workforce, we ensure access to in-demand skills, higher wages, and long-term job security for American workers. The Investing in American Workers Act is a huge win for businesses, for workers, and for the economy at large.”

New technologies are transforming the 21st century economy, changing some jobs and replacing others. To succeed, workers must have access to education and skills training over the course of their careers,” said Alastair Fitzpayne, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative, which first conducted the research identifying the decline in workforce investment.Employers are uniquely positioned to prepare the workforce for the challenges and opportunities presented by a changing economy, but the available data suggests that employer investments in their workers are declining. A worker training tax credit, modeled on the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit, will encourage business to increase their investments in their most important asset—their workers—and make a much-needed reform to the tax code that puts human capital investments on par with research investments.” 

According to the Council of Economic Advisers, the percentage of workers receiving employer-sponsored training fell 42% between 1996 and 2008. The Investing in American Workers Act reverses this trend by targeting those earning less than $82,000 annually to receive employer-sponsored training. Upskilling workers is crucial to the continued success of small and mid-sized business that form the backbone of the American economy.