WASHINGTON— More than 500 trade associations, professional societies, businesses and employers joined together in the Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition, established to build support for the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act (S. 722 / H.R. 1477). The new group is led by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC).
The bipartisan, bicameral Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act would expand qualified expenses under 529 savings plans to include postsecondary training and credentialing, such as licenses and professional certifications. The bill 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 Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act can empower workers of any educational background, skill level or age,” said ASAE President and CEO Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE. “This pragmatic policy would support all industries and professions that rely on employees with specialized training or credentials. Our community is grateful to the Congressional champions for their commitment to supporting our current and future workforce.”
“Knowledge, skills and abilities are essential to help professionals grow their careers and for industries to grow their impact,” said Institute for Credentialing Excellence Executive Director and co-leader of the PCC Denise Roosendaal, FASAE, CAE. “It is a privilege to support the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act, which will help strengthen industries, professions and the broader economy.”
The bill is led by Representatives Rob Wittman (R-Va.) and Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) in the U.S. Senate.
“It is crucial that we are providing people with the tools and resources they need to succeed in our economy,” said Senator Klobuchar. “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 skills training and development programs.”
"A strong workforce is essential for growing our economy and promoting innovation, and we must do what we can to support the hardworking Americans who face financial barriers to obtaining the training and certifications required to fill in-demand, skill-specific jobs,” said Congressman Wittman. "The bipartisan Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow's Workforce Act will bolster our nation's workforce by permitting the use of 529 account funds to cover expenses relating to their workforce training programs. I'm grateful for the Tomorrow's Workforce Coalition's support, and I look forward to working together to further the progression of this important bill."
Training and credentialing organizations help expand industry excellence, establish and strengthen professional pathways, increase workers’ earning power, foster marketplace competition and supply consumers with the best products, services and expertise. The Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act would transform 529 accounts from “college savings plans” into “career savings plans” that beneficiaries could use to help pay for education, training and credentials and opportunities that lead to a variety of different career paths.
A member roster can be found at powerofassociations.org.
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ASAE is a membership organization of more than 47,000 association executives and industry partners. Since it was established 100 years ago, its members have and continue to lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. With the support of the ASAE Research Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge, and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession and provides resources, education, ideas, and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. Visit ASAE at asaecenter.org.
The PCC addresses public policy that impacts certifications developed and/or offered by non-governmental organizations, educates stakeholders about the benefits of certification and advances policies to develop the workforce. The Institute for Credentialing Excellence, the American Society of Association Executives and the Pillsbury law firm founded the PCC in 2018.