On Feb. 10, Governor Steve Bullock highlighted several bills as part of his Quality Jobs Plan to make it easier for businesses all across Montana to grow, expand, and create good-paying jobs for Montanans.
“Montanans elected us to create good-paying jobs for Montana families. We can do this by supporting the needs of our businesses, our communities, and our workers,” said Governor Bullock. “Time and time again, I hear from businesses telling me their biggest challenge to growth is a shortage of workers. The Legislature has the opportunity to build on our state’s business climate to attract, retain, and grow Main Street Montana businesses – all while meeting private sector demand for highly-skilled workers and boosting earning potential for Montanans across the state.”
If passed, HB 308 will provide businesses a $1,000 tax credit for every position hired where the worker is offered on-the-job training through the Montana Registered Apprenticeship unit. For every veteran hired and offered on-the-job training, businesses will receive a $2,000 tax credit. The apprenticeship tax credit will provide veterans opportunities to apply the skills and leadership they learned while serving in the military to industry sectors across Montana. Apprenticeships provide earn-while-you-learn training opportunities in almost 1,000 occupations.
The Montana Department of Labor & Industry, Governor’s Office of Economy Development, and Montana businesses and apprentices from across the state testified in support of HB 308. Representative Casey Schreiner, from House District 26 in Great Falls, shared his professional experience working with businesses who hire apprentices.
“Apprenticeships have shown for generations that providing the opportunity for Montanans to earn while they learn builds talent pipelines for businesses,” Rep. Schreiner said. “This is a modest proposal that will have a big impact to Montana businesses and Montana workers.”
“Having a strong apprenticeship program has helped our company grow our operations with the trained and skilled workers we need,” said Barry Reddick with Collision Pro in Helena. “The apprenticeship tax credit will provide further incentives for businesses across the state to see the same benefits we have at Collision Pro.”
Governor Bullock’s Quality Jobs Plan also includes HB 226, which would lower taxes on Montana businesses by waiving 75 percent of the local property tax obligation for new or expanding businesses during the first five years of operation.
Governor Bullock also took the opportunity to highlight the need for action on HB14 – the Build Montana Plan – which is the Governor’s infrastructure proposal to put Montanans to work, build our state, and strengthen our economy.
“Montanans have told me loud and clear they want an infrastructure package. They want jobs. They want an investment in our economy,” Bullock said. “I’m hopeful that Montana lawmakers hear them as well – and pass the Build Montana Plan.”