ACMA’s Composites 2024 Washington Fly-In lobbied in support of legislation aimed at helping U.S. manufacturers make training more affordable to workers. One of the priorities we highlighted for House and Senate offices during the February event was support for the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act. Fly-In participants met with more than 60 congressional offices, including with senior staff from the Senate leader on the bill, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

The bill takes a successful program and expands it. The legislation would expand qualified expenses under 529 savings plans to include postsecondary training and credentialing, such as licenses and nongovernmental 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.

Supporters of the legislation note that post-secondary credentialing, with or without a two- or four-year degree, is an increasingly important part of workforce training.

529 savings plans – currently limited to tuition and associated costs for colleges, universities or certain other eligible post-secondary educational institutions – have been highly successful. These plans are sponsored by states, state agencies or educational institutions. The plan can be opened by a parent for a child or by a student themselves. The bill would empower Americans of any educational background, skill level or age and would benefit all industries and professions that rely on employees with specialized training or credentials. It would transform 529s from college savings plans to career savings plans; the bill would encourage more workers and families to save funds.

Our support for the legislation, and its inclusion in the Fly-In agenda, came out of ACMA’s Pulse of the Industry survey and member feedback to the Government Relations staff. ACMA members consistently rate workforce retention and workforce training as a significant issue, and our government relations team found this legislation to help address it. More than 80% of composite companies say their total annual investment for training and professional development is between $50,000 and $100,000.

ACMA’s Certified Composite Technician (CCT) program would benefit from this legislation, as would any other qualifying program that composites manufacturers use. The legislation covers tuition for courses, as well as other associated costs. These include prep courses, testing fees, required books and equipment, and continuing education and credential renewal.

We are not working on this legislation alone. ACMA is teaming with the Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition, a group led by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), to coordinate the support for this legislation. More than 100 members of Congress cosponsor the legislation, which has the support of over 700 trade associations and companies.

Dan Neumann is vice president of government relations at ACMA. Email comments to