IT Training Tax Credit Bill Introduced in House

Congress may soon provide a powerful new tool to help thwart the shortfall of IT-skilled workers.

A bill introduced May 9 in the House of Representatives would allow businesses or employees to take up to $1,500 in tax credits for expenses incurred in high-tech training programs, and a $2,000 credit for small businesses or all companies in enterprise zones or empowerment zones. A companion bill was introduced April 24 in the Senate.

The Information Technology Association of America in Arlington, Va., estimates that 425,000 of 900,000 IT jobs in the United States will remain unfilled in 2001.

Reps. Jerry Weller, R-Ill., and Jim Moran, D-Va., announced the introduction of the Technology Education and Training Act of 2001 at a Washington conference hosted by the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses. This grassroots event is used by hundreds of IT consultants to fan out across Capitol Hill to speak with lawmakers.

Grant Mydland, director of the Technology Workforce Coalition, applauded the legislation and urged Congress to pass it. The coalition was created by the Computing Technology Industry Association and the IT Training Association in 1999 to advocate federal and state solutions to address the IT worker shortage.

"IT drives our economy, but does so only through the talent of our IT-skilled workers. [This bill] gives individuals and companies the right incentives to meet America's rapidly evolving IT needs, keeping this nation truly competitive," Mydland said.

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