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Contact: Bob Driscoll, 716-307-7406

New York Labor Apprenticeship Act would inject significant resources into building trades unions and other organizations that provide job training programs

NEW WINDSOR, NY – Councilman Tom Basile, candidate for State Senate in the 39th District, announced today that he will introduce legislation to help inject millions of charitable dollars into union vocational training and apprenticeship programs across New York State. The bill, tentatively named the New York Labor Apprenticeship Act, would be particularly helpful for Hudson Valley Building Trades and other unions who face rising costs to train skilled laborers for a range of positions in the local economy.

“In the wake of Janus and other anti-organized labor cases that may follow, we need to advance solutions on a state level now that can insulate unions while strengthening our workforce. The New York Labor Apprenticeship Act would do just that,” said Basile.

Basile’s legislation, which he pledged to introduce in the Senate in January, would create a dollar-for-dollar state income or business tax credit up to a certain threshold for direct contributions to apprenticeship, vocational training, or continuing skills education programs for unions that require such programs. The credit would also be used to boost cooperatives for practical skills training between trade or industry groups and public or private schools.

“We need more young people, veterans and those transitioning careers to have access to a practical skills education that will increase opportunity,” said Basile, whose father was a long-standing member of the IBEW. “Incentivizing the creation and expansion of training programs will get more people the qualifications they need to find work and build a career that provides a living wage. In the post-Janus environment, trades unions and other labor groups will need additional support to attract resources for their programs. Establishing a tax credit of this kind will serve to inject more capital into these groups, allow them to better allocate resources, and expand programs to ensure our workers are the best trained in the world. On the private sector side, it also has the potential to foster stronger relationships between management and labor.” 

“Our state and our nation weren’t built by lawyers and accountants. They were built by hard-working men and women who create and innovate. Injecting building trades unions and other labor groups with private and charitable dollars that help them grow membership and expand our workforce is essential. By adopting the New York Labor Apprenticeship Act we keep people working, grow our economy and make our region a more desirable place to raise a family,” Basile continued.

An Empire State Apprenticeship Tax Credit enacted last year allows employers who have certified Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs to collect limited credits against income or franchise taxes for each apprentice hired. However, the program directly excludes apprenticeship programs for those in the construction trades suggesting that they were not in-demand occupations. Basile’s initiative would provide a full tax credit for contributions to those union training programs and it would not discriminate based on industry.

“The idea that building trades are not in demand enough to warrant assistance in attracting and training members is ridiculous,” stated Basile. “Growing the skilled labor pool means putting more people to work in jobs that can keep them here. We can grow opportunity for young people, the unemployed and the underemployed by emphasizing practical skills training that leads to new careers and good-paying positions.”

Basile noted that creating a skilled labor force that can earn a living wage through steady work closer to home should be a goal of the partnership between government and the private sector. The proposed program would be paid for out of funds currently allocated for the state’s controversial $400 million “tax credits for Hollywood” program. 

Basile is endorsed by retiring Senator Bill Larkin, the Republican and Conservative Parties of the 39th Senate District and numerous other elected officials in Orange, Rockland and Ulster Counties.

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