WASHINGTON— Almost one hundred association leaders joined ASAE and met with 50 lawmakers and their staff during American Associations Day, March 27-28. Association advocates demonstrated the power of associations and its unique role to support the economy while pursuing missions in public service and urged support for the bipartisan Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act (H.R. 1477 / S. 722).
The legislation, championed by Representatives Rob Wittman (R-Va.) and Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) in the House and Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) in the Senate, would expand eligible uses of 529 education savings plan funds to cover costs associated with obtaining and maintaining legitimate, robust professional certification credentials. The bill would provide workers options and flexibility to grow their careers and simultaneously open 529 tax advantages to a much larger group of people.
“Thank you to the 97 association leaders who spent time with ASAE and advocated for a stronger workforce during American Associations Day,” said ASAE President and CEO Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE. “The Freedom to Invest Act is not only bipartisan, but it’s good policy. We’re grateful to the bill champions for their hard work and look forward to supporting our association community as it continues to build up America’s economy and workforce.”
“There exist tens of thousands of associations – spanning all economic sectors – but American Associations Day provides a unique opportunity for our community to speak as one,” said Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, EVP/Chief Executive Officer, The American Institute of Architects and Chair, ASAE’s Board of Directors. “When our association community advocates as one—works together to promote the entire workforce—we get things done and strengthen our country.”
ASAE recognized Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) with its Sentinel Award during American Associations Day for her essential, steadfast efforts to support America’s economy during the pandemic as Chair of the House Committee on Small Business.
“I am grateful to Congresswoman Velázquez for speaking to our advocates during American Associations Day,” said Mark V. Falzone, MPA, President, Scenic America and Volunteer Leader with ASAE. “Her leadership on the House Small Business Committee and service to employers and the workforce saved jobs and helped sustain associations’ role to support every industry and profession in our economy. It was an honor to share the podium with Congresswoman Velázquez.”
Associations directly support the economy through training and certification, which strengthen industry excellence, create professional pathways, increase workers’ earning power, foster marketplace competition and supply consumers with the best products, services and expertise. The association community pays approximately $20 billion in wages and is the largest provider of post-college education and skills training.
To learn more about American Associations Day 2023, visit ASAE’s website.
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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.