The United Motorcoach Association is among more than 500 trade associations, professional societies, businesses and employers joining to back a bill that would allow education savings plans to pay for postsecondary training and credentialing.
This new group, the Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition, is led by the American Society of Association Executives and the Professional Certification Coalition. It was established to build support for the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act (S. 722 / H.R. 1477).
The act, which has bipartisan sponsorship in the U.S. House and Senate, would expand qualified expenses under tax-advantaged 529 education savings plans to include postsecondary training and credentialing, such as licenses and professional certifications. It would provide valuable tax-advantaged resources for families, students and workers — with or without a college degree — who pursue career growth, mid-career changes or pathways that diverge from a typical academic route.
“The UMA is part of this coalition seeking to permit use of 529 funds for credentialing, such as commercial driver training to obtain a CDL,” said UMA CEO/President Scott Michael.
Open more career paths
Supporters of the bill said it would transform 529 accounts from “college savings plans” into “career savings plans” that could help pay for education, training and credentials that lead to a variety of career paths.
American Society of Association Executives President and CEO Michelle Mason said the act “can empower workers of any educational background, skill level or age. This pragmatic policy would support all industries and professions that rely on employees with specialized training or credentials.”
Knowledge, skills and abilities are essential to help professionals grow their careers and for industries to grow their impact, said Denise Roosendaal, executive director of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence and co-leader of the Professional Certification Coalition.
The bill is sponsored in the U.S. House by Reps. Rob Wittman, R-Va., and Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and in the Senate by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Mike Braun, R-Ind.
“It is crucial that we are providing people with the tools and resources they need to succeed in our economy,” Klobuchar said. “By allowing workers to use their 529 educational savings to pay for training and certification, my bipartisan legislation will enable more Americans to access and benefit from these valuable training and development programs.”
The legislation will support those who face financial barriers to obtaining the training and certifications required to fill in-demand, skill-specific jobs, Wittman added.
A member roster can be found at powerofassociations.org.