Congress reintroduced the Workforce Development Tax Credit Act (H.R. 1781) on April 14, 2015. H.R 1781 is a bipartisan bill that helps to prepare our workforce for manufacturing jobs by providing federal tax credits for businesses that offer apprenticeship programs as well as additional tax credits for companies that hire apprentices 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 multinational businesses to manufacture in America

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 these apprenticeship programs.

Introduced by U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., and Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., the bill would help fill the approximately 3.5 million manufacturing jobs that the industry says it will need over the next 10 years, according to the Manufacturing Institute.

“A strong manufacturing sector is crucial for our nation’s economic growth and prosperity,” said Sewell. “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.”

The Manufacturing institute also says that approximately 2 million of those 3.5 million jobs will go unfilled due to a skilled labor shortage, adding pressure to pass legislation such as H.R. 1781.