Daines Fights to Remove Barriers for Montana’s Skilled Workers

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today reintroduced bipartisan legislation to expand the education savings plans to skilled workers.


To download video, click HERE.

“This legislation will lead to more jobs and higher wages for hardworking Montanans,” Daines said. “Those who want to join an apprenticeship program ought to be given the same opportunities afforded to those who go to traditional colleges and universities.”  

Under Daines’ legislation, skilled workers enrolled in a registered apprenticeship program would have access to the same tax advantaged savings account that those attending colleges and universities receive under Section 529 of the IRS Code.

The bipartisan bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Warren, Booker and Murkowski.

To read the full bill text, click HERE.


Last month, Daines met with leaders from the skilled trades in Helena at the Montana Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Center, operated by local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association, to discuss ways to encourage more students to consider apprenticeship programs.

On December 13th, 2017 Daines, with bipartisan support, first introduced legislation to expand the education savings plans to skilled workers.

Support from Stakeholders:

“We applaud Senator Daines for introducing legislation to ensure registered skilled trade apprentices may use 529 plans for life sustaining costs like housing, transportation and certifications associated with successful completion of a registered apprenticeship program. This bill rightly recognizes our high-quality registered education system is worthy of higher education funding options, as our registered programs provide the most advanced skilled trades training for family-sustaining careers in the building and construction industry.” – Sean McGarvey, President, North American’s Building Trades Unions

“Many members of the electrical construction industry will benefit from this common-sense 529 reform legislation. Allowing 529 savings plans to better help our apprentices is smart policy and the right thing to do. Because of this change, electrical contractors and their apprentices will have an important tool at their disposal when it comes to paying for their education costs. Senator Daines is a true champion of the industry and deserves praise for his efforts.”- David Long, CEO, National Electrical Contractors Association

“The Montana State Building and Construction Trades Council was pleased to be a part of developing the 529 Savings Plan Expansion to include Apprenticeships. It’s not often that Montana workers get the chance to influence Federal Legislation that will benefit our future workforce and encourage what we believe is the best model of training in the nation; Apprenticeship.” – Miles McCarvel, President, Montana State Building and Construction Trades Council

“Trade professions in Montana are an integral part of our workforce from helping maintain our energy sources to providing our infrastructure. Senator Daines’ legislation recognizes the importance of these good paying jobs and ensures that apprenticeship programs have access to the same benefits that are provided to students pursuing four-year degrees.”- Jason Small, President, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Local 11

“SMART103 sees Senator Daines’ legislation as the first and most important step in investing in our country’s infrastructure. That infrastructure starts with its most key piece, a highly trained workforce. Giving our young men and women the tools they need to succeed in the trades can only make our community and country stronger.” – John Carter, Business Manager, Local 103, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers