Lawmakers Back Tax Breaks To Boost Apprentice Employment

Lawmakers unveiled a pair of tax credits aimed at boosting employment for skilled laborers by enticing employer participation in federal-level apprenticeship programs.

One measure, Senate Bill 3061, would give businesses a $5,000 credit against their corporate business or gross income tax to offset the costs of participating in an apprenticeship program registered with the U.S. Department of Labor.

The second measure, Senate Bill 3062, would give a tax credit of $1,000 against the CBT and GIT for each apprentice in a DOL-registered apprenticeship they employ, provided the apprentice was employed for at least seven months.

Both are part of a 10-bill package to expand the availability of apprenticeship programs in the state and entice New Jersey’s employers to hire apprentices.  

Senate Bill 3063, would waive tuition fees for apprenticeship courses. Senate Bill 3068 would require the labor commissioner to establish an apprenticeship mentoring program for women, people of color and people with disabilities. Senate Bill 3065 would establish a youth-apprenticeship pilot program in the state Department of Education.

“Creating more accessible pathways to apprenticeships in New Jersey would lead to an invigorated economy, expanded opportunities for New Jersey residents and a more diversified workforce,” Sen. Teresa Ruiz, D-29th District and a sponsor of all 10 bills, said in a statement.

Under S3061, businesses could receive another $5,000 in tax exemptions if they take part in apprenticeship programs for “key industries, such as manufacturing, health care and renewable energy,” reads the bill.

The tax breaks outlined in S3062 could be increase by $2,000 if the apprentice a business hires is either a veteran, dependent on food assistance within 12 months of their start date, or if the employee is of a “race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability or age” underrepresented in the field where they are hired.

The Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce all said they support legislative efforts to make apprenticeships more available and boost apprentice-employment.

“This is something that we’ve thought very highly about and continue to feel very strongly about, to allow young people to get a taste of businesses and hopefully get them interested and seeking careers in New Jersey and help them stay here,” said New Jersey Chamber of Commerce President Tom Bracken.

“Anything that educates and trains our workforce is only good for business,” added Anthony Russo, president of the CIANJ.

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