FAIRMONT, WV (WBOY) – West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore and his office are planning to launch a new program for West Virginia students who are interested in higher education.  

The “Jumpstart Savings Program” is a savings and investment opportunity geared to help students who are currently studying or interested in studying trades and training programs.

Any individuals who wish to pursue a vocation or trade, ranging from welding to cosmetology, can make tax-free contributions to a savings and investment account up to $25,000 each year. Family members and the individual’s employer can also make contributions to the account. 

“It’s going to strengthen our blue-collar economy,” said Heather Raines, director of Jumpstart Savings Program. “It’s going to strengthen our workforce. It’s an opportunity to really give a benefit to that middle class and give them the support that they need to make West Virginia the economic powerhouse it deserves.” 

The goal is to provide those in trades or vocational programs a flexible way to buy tools, supplies and other costs they need to be covered. 

“When you’re sitting around at the table or when your son or daughter is sitting around at that table and telling you ‘Mom I want to go to Pierpont Community & Technical College’… and they may not have the funds to assist their child and meeting their expectations and their goals, this is that opportunity and this is the moment for our state.” said Anthony Hancock, president of Pierpont C&TC.  

On Tuesday, representatives from Treasurer Moore’s office presented the program at the North Central West Virginia Aviation Strategic Partnership meeting at Pierpont CT&C. Aviation is one of many jobs that the Jumpstart Savings Program funds can go towards.  

“Aviation is critical to West Virginia’s economic growth and vitality. We know we need to revitalize our American manufacturing base and strengthen our domestic supply chain, and West Virginia is perfectly positioned to play a key role in rejuvenating our blue-collar economy,” Treasurer Moore said.  

Employers that contribute to employee accounts will be eligible for up to $5,000 in tax credit per employee.  

The program is set to launch on July 1.