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Industry leaders tout work-based learning at White House

Marine industry executives were in Washington, D.C., recently to discuss their proposals designed to remove barriers to work-based learning for small businesses in the recreational marine industry.

Pamela Lendzion, executive director of the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association, and Susan Swanton, executive director of the Maine Marine Trades Association, joined a group of colleagues in early February as part of a Business Leaders United advocacy meeting.

Lendzion and Swanton met at the White House with members of the Obama administration’s National Economic Council, including deputy director Jacob Leibenluft and senior policy advisers JJ Raynor and Ryan Burke.

The council looked to Business Leaders United to discuss strategies for developing the administration’s work-based-learning efforts. In particular, they were eager to hear ideas about how to make funding for work-based learning flexible enough for small and medium-size employers.

Business Leaders United employers shared suggestions related to the use of industry intermediaries, wage subsidies and tax credits, and long-term training costs.

Lendzion recommended a reduction in payroll taxes for small-business employers paying for training. Swanton and Lendzion spoke up about the intermediary role that trade associations can play in helping their members access necessary training and training funds and navigate the process.

The Business Leaders United employers were confident that their meeting would have an impact on any action the administration takes on work-based learning.

“I felt that the NEC staff understood our issues and were sympathetic to the needs of our businesses as they struggle to find trained workers and upskill incumbents,” Swanton said in a statement.

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