A new state law should make employee training more affordable for small businesses in Washington, said leaders of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
SHB 1247, which was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on May 1, is designed to make it easier for small businesses to train employees in partnership with community and technical colleges by removing a dollar-for-dollar match formerly required under state law. Small businesses making less than $500,000 in annual gross business income are now only required to pay the usual salary and benefits during training.
“We need to help people upgrade their skills so they can stay current in a fast-changing economy,” said the bill’s main sponsor, state Rep. Drew Hansen of Bainbridge Island. “This bill helps small businesses work with community colleges to make sure their employees are well-trained so they can stay and grow in their jobs.”
Washington state’s two-year college system’s Job Skills Program offers customized employee training to boost productivity and innovation for small businesses and provide employees a chance to learn valuable new skills. Employees are trained for the specific needs of their employers, either at the colleges or on job sites.
“Small businesses are vital to the success of local communities and our entire state,” said Marty Brown, executive director of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. “This law comes at a perfect time for our rebounding economy.”