March 15, 2007
Texas’ gradual shift toward a technology-based, creativity-fueled, 21st-Century economy can seem a little intimidating at times. To prepare Texans for what’s coming, the state needs strong workforce training programs.
Senate Bill 1323 would have helped community training centers by reimbursing their sales taxes for construction, expansion, or renovation of a building. However, the bill was not approved by the Legislature.
This bill would have helped non-profit training organizations grow, expand their facilities, and ultimately help more people find jobs in their communities. It also would have balanced an unfair and unsound equation, helping workers the way we help for-profit businesses to locate and expand in Texas.
Currently, there is no fiscal incentive for non-profit training centers to expand their current operations and provide greater outreach to their communities. In reality, expansion often means non-profit programs would take a financial hit and endure some period of financial instability.
By reimbursing a portion of sales taxes collected from workforce training programs – particularly those with large retail components such as Goodwill – SB 1323 would have promoted employment and enhanced training opportunities for the chronically underserved and under-employed. It also would have created new retail stores, which means more jobs and shopping options for people with low incomes.
New training centers provide opportunities for people to develop work skills, build careers, and lead self-sufficient lives. As important as it is to secure jobs for Texans, it’s at least as important to make sure folks are trained to do the work.