Four bills have been reintroduced by U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) that focus on supporting Americans who can increasingly expect to work in a variety of jobs over a lifetime in the workforce.
According to Sen. Warner, “Changes in the nature of work mean that Americans are more likely to change jobs and be engaged in non-traditional forms of work than they were a generation ago – but our federal policies haven’t kept up with those economic shifts.” “We can’t and shouldn’t try to regulate our economy into looking like it did 50 years ago, but we can and must do a far better job than we’ve been doing to prepare workers for economic shifts and changes in the nature of work. If we want to grow our economy and expand opportunity, Congress has to take steps to increase access to skills training and support workers with access to flexible, portable benefits that carry from job to job.”
One recent study found that by the year 2030, up to one-third of American workers will need to retrain or change jobs to keep up with disruptions due to automation and a changing economy. A pair of the bills Sen. Warner introduced today would encourage employers and employees to invest in education and training that will help workers move up the economic ladder despite those economic trends.
The Investing in American Workers Act would encourage employers to invest more in quality skills training for their workers by creating a tax credit – similar to the R&D tax credit – that would encourage businesses to spend money training lower- and moderate-income workers. Likewise, the Lifelong Learning and Training Account Act will make lifelong learning more accessible for low- and moderate-income workers by establishing a tax-preferred savings account with a generous government match to help support workers seeking to retrain or upskill over the course of their careers.