Legislation has been reintroduced to help more individuals afford high-quality workforce training and credentialing programs.
The Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act would give individuals across the country the freedom to use their “529” savings plans to cover the costs of certain workforce training and credentialing programs. Additionally, the bill would allow students to use their 529 funds to pay for associated costs related to certification exams and maintenance of certification credentials. Right now, only colleges, vocational schools, universities, or other post-secondary institutions are considered an eligible 529 education savings plan expense.
According to the National Skills Coalition, middle-skill jobs — which require more than a high school education but not a bachelor’s degree — comprise the largest component of America’s labor market. However, key industries cannot find adequately-trained workers to fill these jobs.
Specifically, the bipartisan Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act would amend current law to allow workers and students to use their 529 plans to pay for training or credentialing programs recognized by a state government or the federal government — or widely recognized as providing reputable credentials in the occupation. Simultaneously, the bill would maintain the current allowable uses for 529 plan expenses — such as colleges and vocational schools.
A companion bill has been filed in the U.S. Senate.
Click here to read the full bill text.