Support the Skills Renewal Act

S. 3779 Provides Financial Relief to Those Looking for New Skills Due to COVID-19

Published on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

BCSP and the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC) need your help! Using the language below, we are asking you to email your state legislators to inform them of the importance of supporting the Skills Renewal Act (S. 3779/H.R. 7032).
 
Introduced in both chambers of Congress by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, the Skills Renewal Act will provide millions of Americans who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, the opportunity to gain new skills in high demand fields. This is a win-win proposal that will benefit workers, families, and our nation’s economy.
 
If passed, the Skills Renewal Act will:

  • Create a flexible Skills Training Credit in the amount of $4,000 per person that may be applied to cover the cost of a wide range of training programs that build skills expected to be in high demand by employers in the coming months. 
  • The refundable tax credit may be applied to the cost of training programs located anywhere along the post-secondary pipeline including apprenticeships, stackable credentials, certificate programs, and traditional two-and four-year programs. To maximize participation by workers currently living under shelter-in-place orders, distance learning programs will be expressly included.  
  • The Skills Training Credit will be made available to anyone who has lost their job due to the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and the credit may be applied to the cost of training programs anytime in 2020 or 2021.

The PCC's position paper on the Skills Renewal Act can be read and downloaded here. The name and contact information of your state representatives can be found here.
 
BCSP and the PCC appreciate your help in continually building governmental recognition of your BCSP certification.

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Dear Representative/Senator [Rep's name],
 
As a [insert profession and certification/designation], I am writing to express my strong support for S. 3779/H.R. 7032, the Skills Renewal Act, and encourage you to co-sponsor this bipartisan legislation, with amendments, in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation. The legislation will enable people to pursue training and certification opportunities to advance their careers, or qualify them for new job opportunities, by providing a tax credit to workers who have lost their job or been furloughed due to the pandemic. I have personally experienced how important such trainings and credentials are in my own career, so I write to urge you to support a tax credit that will extend these opportunities to others who, due to the pandemic, need to rebuild their careers or change direction in order to once again earn a livelihood.

The Skills Renewal Act aims to provide financial incentives to out-of-work individuals seeking new training, skills, and professional recognition. In its current form, the bill will create a $4,000 “skills training credit” that individuals can use to cover the cost of professional training programs including stackable credentials, certificate programs, apprenticeships, and traditional two-and four-year programs. These programs build skills in STEM fields and other designated “high need” fields. The credit will be available to anyone who lost their job during the Coronavirus pandemic and will offset the cost of training programs in 2020 and 2021.

To fully meet the objectives of this legislation, I support amending the legislation to allow people to use the tax credit to cover not only training programs, but also costs associated with taking professional certification examinations that are required to obtain recognized credentials—demonstrating the skills and knowledge gained through that training. If amended in this way, the Skills Renewal Act will provide a valuable opportunity to people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and need a financial boost to earn a credential—helping them advance their careers or make them marketable for a position in a new occupation.

Therefore, I urge you and your colleagues to co-sponsor the Skills Renewal Act and push for its advancement through the legislative process as part of the next COVID-19 relief bill. Thank you for your consideration.


Sincerely,

[Your name]


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If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Richardson, BCSP's Senior Manager, Professional and Organizational Advancement, at [email protected]