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LEAP Act would offer federal tax credits for apprenticeship hires

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WBFO File Photo
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A Western New York Congressman is throwing his support behind a bill that seeks to fill jobs with trained apprentices by offering federal tax credits to those who do the hiring.

The Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs Act, or LEAP, would provide federal tax credits of $1,000 to companies for hires of apprentices older than 25 or $1,500 for hires of apprentices under the age of 25.

Tom Reed, who represents the Southern Tier, acknowledged some of the companies and programs that would benefit, including Cummins Incorporated in Jamestown and Dresser-Rand in Olean, 

"(The credit) would also be available to new apprenticeship programs, to send a message that we're standing with folks and getting the resources in order to get that skills training in place, so that people have those skills and make them much more available for immediate employment," Reed said.

The apprentices would need to be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency.

The plan has bipartisan support in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives.

Federal officials say four million job openings exist because the companies looking to fill them cannot find individuals with the developed skills needed to qualify for those positions. 

The apprentices would need to be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.