Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) has joined with more than 500 trade associations, professional societies, businesses and employers to form 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 American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC) lead the new group.
The bipartisan, bicameral Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act would expand qualified expenses under 529 savings plans to include post-secondary 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.
“There is no question that workforce development is critical for our members across all the industries we serve.” says ATA President and CEO Steve Schiffman. “Not only do we hear this regularly, but finding skilled labor was listed as the top concern in our State of the Industry 2023 research, presented by Specialty Fabrics Review magazine.”
ATA recently launched the Workforce Development Council in response to those member concerns. The council is working to find ways to build and train the sewing, fabricating and manufacturing workforce across all segments of the textile industry.
The Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act 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.
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. A member roster can be found at powerofassociations.org. For additional information, please visit ATA at textiles.org.