Earlier this year, the Public Sector HR Association (PSHRA) joined nearly 600 trade associations, professional societies, businesses and employers across more than 40 industries as part of the Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition, an alliance designed to build support for The Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act.
Led by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC), the coalition was established to advocate for the passage of the bipartisan, bicameral legislation, led by Representatives Rob Wittman (R-Va.) and Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) in the U.S. Senate.
The Act recently gained its first new cosponsor in the Senate since the bill’s introduction in March 2023, with Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) endorsing the legislation on Sept. 12. The coalition now plans to deliver a sign-on letter to Congress on Sept. 19.
PSHRA has signed the letter in support of the coalition, and ASAE asks others looking to join the cause to share the sign-on letter throughout their networks.
As ASAE has noted, the Act would expand qualified expenses under 529 savings plans to include postsecondary training and credentialing, such as licenses and professional certifications. The bill would also provide tax-advantaged resources for families, students and workers with or without college degrees to pursue career growth, mid-career changes or pathways that diverse from a typical academic route, according to ASAE. Workers and families could use 529 plans to help cover:
- Credential program tuition, including prep courses
- Testing fees, including practice exams
- Required books and equipment
- Continuing education and credential renewal
- Other charges required to obtain and maintain a postsecondary credential
Passage of the Act “can empower workers of any educational background, skill level or age,” said ASAE President and CEO Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, in a statement. “This pragmatic policy would support all industries and professions that rely on employees with specialized training or credentials. Our community is grateful to the Congressional champions for their commitment to supporting our current and future workforce.”
PSHRA CEO Cara Woodson Welch expressed the association’s continued support for the coalition and its cause, and reiterated the bill’s potential impact on future generations of workers.
“Public Sector HR Association is proud to be part of this bipartisan effort to help ensure a vibrant workforce, including in the public sector, through its support of the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act,” Welch said.
“This new legislation would allow workers and families to use 529 savings plans to include postsecondary training and credentialing, such as licenses and professional certifications. This would be very helpful!”
18 September 2023
HR News Article