The Legislature’s Taxation Committee voted in favor of a bill from Sen. Chip Curry, D-Belfast, that would provide incentives to employers to participate in apprenticeship programs.

LD 241, “An Act to Support the Trades through a Tax Credit for Apprenticeship,” received unanimous support in committee May 25 with 11 members present.

“This is commonsense legislation,” Curry said. “I hear from folks in Waldo County how difficult it is to find a good-paying job. Yet, at the same time, I hear from employers that they have a hard time finding employees with the specific skills they need. This legislation will allow workers to get trained, build community, and learn valuable new skills while supporting employers at the same time. LD 241 gives us another tool to provide for local training for local jobs so we can develop our workforce. We’re encouraging the future generations of Mainers to live, work and raise a family here.”

LD 241 would provide incentives to employers to participate in apprenticeship programs by allowing them to receive an income tax credit of $2,500 if they mentor an apprentice for 2,000 hours or more a year. It provides for a partial credit of the employer mentors the apprentice for less than 2,000 hours during the taxable year. Apprenticeships allow for workers to receive on-the-job learning opportunities and support employers as they train them in the trade. By providing a tax credit, businesses and contractors are able to offset the costs of training and development.

The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, Retail Lumber Dealers Association of Maine, the Associated General Contractors of Maine and HospitalityMaine all testified in support of LD 241.

LD 241 now faces votes in the Senate and House.