February 25, 2019
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Federal Issues

AWB's Amy Anderson joins U.S. Rep Derek Kilmer for Facebook Live talk on Skills Investment Act

Employers across America know there is a major challenge in equipping workers with the skills and training they need to stay competitive in the modern economy. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-6) has sponsored the Skills Investment Act of 2019, which would address this need by enhancing Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. The tax-advantaged savings account could be used for educational expenses – so that American workers can pay for skills training, career-related learning and professional development.

Contributions are tax free, and both workers and employers receive tax credits for contributions to the accounts. Allowing employers to contribute to these lifelong learning accounts opens new opportunities for companies to attract and retain motivated employees, while at the same time boosting the capabilities of their workforce and their global competitiveness.

Workers would be able to use the improved Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts to pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, tools, prior learning and competency-based assessments, and information technology devices. Third parties can also make contributions to the accounts, which would remain eligible to receive contributions throughout the full working life of the beneficiary.

Employers receive a tax credit for 25 percent of their contributions to their employees’ accounts. The credit applies for contributions up to $4,000 per employee. Employers cannot require workers to pay for training that they had previously received from their employer

For more background, check out the Facebook Live that AWB’s Amy Anderson recorded with U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer and Julianne Hanner, CEO of Hanner Enterprises.

Contact Anderson to learn more.

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Workforce Summit
Attack on the Dams

Inslee's proposed Snake River dam task force will be a waste of money

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

State legislators looking to trim the budget this session can save $750,000 straight off if they don't fund a proposed Snake River dams task force.

A new state committee is not going to be able to compete with the federal team that has been studying this same issue since September 2016, so trying to duplicate the effort is absurd.

The Snake River dams are critical to the economy of Eastern Washington and the Northwest. They play an important role in providing irrigation, hydropower and navigation.

Community leaders note that barging on the inland Columbia Snake River system moves, on average, about 9 million tons of cargo valued at more than $3 billion each year. The dams are part of the lifeblood of the region.

But anti-dam activists want to see them gone, and the plight of the Puget Sound orcas are fueling their efforts...

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
Practical Education

Career Link seeks to pair students, employers

By The Herald Editorial Board

A new partnership between the Everett School District and the City of Everett -- Everett Career Link -- is looking to pair local employers with Everett high school juniors and seniors in internships that provide career-connected experience to the students as they explore their interests and prepare plans for the future.

The school district is providing employers with training and guidance in setting up the internships and matching students to internships, paperwork regarding state Labor and Industries compliance and liability and ongoing support during the internships.

While it's at the employer's discretion to offer interns a stipend, the program is intended as an outgrowth of the classroom; students -- for their 90 hours of participation -- will earn half of the Career and Technical Education credit they need toward their high school graduation requirement.

More than the students benefit. The time spent with local students can help employers develop deeper ties in the community, get a better understanding of the work underway in schools and appreciation for the pool of talent that exists in their own community.

We've repeated the forecast often, first made by Washington Roundtable, that employers in Washington state expect some 740,000 new jobs to be available by 2021. And nearly 80 percent of those jobs will be either career jobs that require a college degree or career-pathway jobs that require at least some level of post-high school training and certification...

Read the full editorial in The Herald
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