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AADA Article ACT 1024The passing of Act 1042—the Apprenticeship Training Act is big news for what it can mean to our AADA members. This Act sponsored by Senator Jane English just passed April 6th of this year. This Act revised the tax credit and allowed for an Apprenticeship Program. Under previous law, the credit received by a company was the lesser of two thousand dollars. Essentially what the new law does is increase the maximum annual credit to ten thousand dollars.

More and more we have seen in the Aerospace industry the benefits of in-house-training, in a sense, custom-tailoring a workforce to the company.

Gina Radke, President of AADA states, “The state of Arkansas, and most of the country, has experienced a skills gap for some time. Adding Apprenticeship programs to local businesses and AADA member companies will ensure skilled employees coming out of the program. Member companies will have the opportunity to “train up” their employees while the employees are receiving outside training and knowledge on new technologies from local schools as well. Using this model, the skills gap will shrink significantly in only a matter of years. “

Therefore, by increasing that annual credit, business owners have more of an incentive to offer potential apprentices. The availability of these programs also aid in more employment opportunities for those who may not have the exact skill-set a company is looking for. An Apprenticeship Program will act as an entry way into the company while simultaneously allowing the company a tax credit along with the aforementioned opportunity of in-house-training.

The criteria for this Apprenticeship Training Act will be focusing on the skilled trades that are learned through a structured on-the-job supervised program and for Aerospace it will be those occupations that are commonly recognized throughout the industry, such as advanced manufacturing. The program will require a minimum of two thousand hours of on-the-job work. The Apprentice would have a scale so that their wage will increase as they advance through the program.

Essentially, what we are looking at is more employment opportunities in Arkansas—for Arkansans, and a great way to eliminate cost, and increase profit. By increasing from two thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars, the tax credit that an employer can claim for hiring someone within an Apprenticeship program will provide another incentive for an employer to do so. In this way, our AADA members will be able to bring more into the workforce and strengthen the overall Aerospace manufacturing value.

Chad Causey, Executive Director of AADA states, “This is just one more way that Arkansas is working to create a friendlier business climate for manufacturers and put laws in place to help the Aerospace Industry.”

We here at AADA are always looking for more ways we can help in putting legislation in place to make Arkansas a more competitive state, and fertile ground for our member’s companies.

We worked with folks such as Representative Joe Jett, and AADA member Keith Rose, Co-Owner of Rose Aircraft Inc., in passing the Fly Away and Maintenance Tax exemption which benefits the airports in their districts by attracting new business and creating jobs. As well as push for sales tax exemption rules on services provided on aircraft over 12,500 pounds. In lowering the weight restriction, we will make

Arkansas more competitive with service providers in surrounding states. We certainly hope to see this weight lowered in the upcoming legislation sessions.

Bottom line—we are here for you to do the most we can for you and yours. We value our members and the support and input you give to us. Thank you for your commitment to our cause. We are certainly committed to yours.