A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill that will provide business owners with tax credits to offset the cost of information technology training costs for employees.
The bill would provide a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for the first $1,500 spent, per employee, on IT training. The amount would increase to $2,000 for businesses located in Empowerment Zones and other designated areas.
The demand for skilled IT workers is high and the Information Technology Association of American estimates that there are approximately 425,000 vacancies in information technology positions nationwide. Grant Mydland, director of the Technology Workforce Coalition, said in a recent news release that nearly half of all IT jobs that will be created in 2001 will remain vacant.
One way in which the nation has been dealing with the IT worker shortage is by extending the Immigration and Naturalization Service's H-1B visa program to allow more foreign nationals to relocate to the United States and fill technology positions.
The Senate bill, called the Technology Education and Training Act, is sponsored by Senators Kent Conrad, R-ND, Olympia Snowe, R-ME, Mike DeWine, R-OH, and Harry Reid, D-NV. The bill would include a change in part of the Tax Code that describes the Hope Scholarship Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit so that these credits would apply to education provided by "a certified commercial information technology training provider."
The bill is expected to go to the House on May 10.