CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A bill now moving fast through the legislature is aimed at getting young people more involved in skilled trade jobs.
Much like West Virginia’s 529 College Savings Accounts, the proposed “Jumpstart Savings Plan” allows parents and students to save tax-free for the costs of trade and technical schools and well-beyond.
“To start a savings account, upon graduation, to buy tools, equipment, licenses and certifications for their vocation of future career. So, it’s going to be a big jump start to get people going in their career path,” said State Treasurer Riley Moore, (R) West Virginia, who had the bill introduced.
Labor unions, which have often been at odds with Republican leaders in West Virginia, are backing this legislation.
“We think it’s a good idea. We appreciate his interest in the trades. Not everybody is going to go on to college. And so that there be some focus on the trades, is excellent,” said Steve White, with Affiliated Construction Trades.
And the West Virginia Chamber a Commerce, another group that labor has not always seen to eye-to-eye with, is also on board.
“We think it’s wonderful. We support it. We are very, very encouraged that the legislature is taking the right steps and doing the right things,” said Steve Roberts, President of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
The Jumpstart Savings plan was the first bill to pass the House of Delegates this year, and was passed with an Amendment in the Senate today. That means it is being sent back to the House for a final vote.
If the Jumpstart Savings Plan is approved, West Virginia will indeed be the first state in the nation to have such a program.