Congressman Steven Horsford Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Empower Nevada’s Workers and Businesses

February 13, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — On Wednesday, February 12, 2020, Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04) introduced the Skill and Knowledge Investments Leverage Leaders’ Untapped Potential Tax Credit (SKILL UP) Act alongside Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02). The SKILL UP Act would provide businesses with a tax credit for investing in work-based learning for workers with low skill levels.

“Across the country, millions of jobs remain open because workers do not have the opportunities they need to develop the necessary skills to fill those roles. And currently, our federal policies do not adequately empower workers ready to take their career to the next level or support businesses with filling middle-skill job openings,” Congressman Horsford said. “After working for years to provide job training opportunities in Nevada, I know the importance of giving our nation’s workers a fair chance to grow their skills. That is why I introduced the SKILL UP Act so that Congress can begin providing targeted tax incentives for businesses investing in work-based learning for workers most in need of training opportunities.”

“The one thing I hear from job creators in my district is that they need more skilled workers,” said Congressman Guthrie, co-founder of the Congressional Apprenticeship Caucus.  “On-the-job training is a great way for employees to learn these skills while earning a living. The SKILL UP Act will help incentivize businesses to provide their workers with skills training opportunities. I want to thank Congressman Horsford for working with me on this bipartisan, commonsense bills that will benefit both to employers and employees.”

“Businesses in every state struggle to find skilled workers, but too often workers aren’t able to access skills necessary to fill good jobs,” said Katie Spiker of the National Skills Coalition. “We applaud Representatives Horsford and Guthrie for championing policy that is both responsive to the needs and expectations of the public and also critical to America’s economic success in the 21st century.”

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) helps businesses hire workers with barriers to employment, including veterans, disadvantaged youth, and low-income workers, but does little to offset the costs to employer-provided training. As a result, many employers that offer well-paying, but higher-skill jobs, are unable to take full advantage of the program by training workers with low-skills to be their future workforce. 

The SKILL UP Act would provide an additional tax credit of $9,600, which is the maximum under the WOTC program, for employers that hire WOTC-eligible employees and provide them with relevant training that helps workers who need the training to progress in the workforce. 

Job training programs that include on-the-job learning and credential attainment have an established success at improving wages and retention outcomes for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other workers with low skill levels. In fact, even short-term work-based learning programs can have a large impact on wages for workers with low-skill levels.