Mar. 13, 2019

HARRISBURG ¬– Recognizing that not all students go to a traditional four-year college, the House Finance Committee on Wednesday approved a resolution by Rep. Kate Klunk (R-Hanover) urging the federal government to allow educational savings accounts to be used for workforce training expenses.

“Pennsylvania’s 529 College Savings Program is a wonderful option to save for college. Sadly, students who pursue careers in the trades can’t use their own money on the tools needed to learn. For example, a student taking a welding course through an apprenticeship program can’t use money from a 529 account to purchase a welding mask,” Klunk said.

Klunk’s House Resolution 110 seeks to change that. The resolution, which goes to the full House for consideration, urges Congress to pass legislation that would allow students in apprenticeship programs to use 529 accounts to purchase program-related tools and equipment.

“The Hanover area is at the forefront of apprenticeship programs and this initiative would propel it, and programs elsewhere in the Commonwealth, forward,” Klunk said.

In addition to the resolution Klunk has teamed up with Reps. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence) and Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia) to introduce House Bill 796 to create a new grant program to support apprenticeships in the Commonwealth. The bill uses a successful partnership between the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce, numerous Hanover-area businesses, the Hanover Public School District and South Western School District as its basis.

The chamber, local businesses and school districts created an apprenticeship pipeline, through which businesses helped to design a curriculum and invested in equipment at the school districts for students to learn trades and obtain recognized certifications.

“There is a desperate need for skilled workers to fill thousands of positions that offer family-sustaining wages in Pennsylvania and across the nation,” Klunk said. “These two House initiatives would enable students to prepare for these jobs and climb the economic ladder while also helping to build a stronger middle class, and ultimately a better economy.”

Representative Kate A. Klunk
169th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross
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