State Representatives Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) today applauded the Ohio House’s passage of legislation they jointly sponsored that would allow automotive technicians and motor vehicle technicians at retail stores the ability to join the Incumbent Workforce Voucher Program.
The Incumbent Workforce Voucher Program is regulated by Ohio’s Development Services Agency (DSA) and it works to offset an employer’s cost for training incumbent workers by funding specific training costs. This legislation would require that automotive technicians be eligible for the program, as long as they fulfill the program’s requirements.
“This bill will help fill the skills gap the automotive industry is facing,” Antani said. “Not only will small businesses see the benefits of this bill, but their employees will who are trying to increase their skills and wages.”
Continuing the goal of improving workforce development in the state, the Incumbent Workforce Voucher Program provides an opportunity for various industries to advance the skills and training of their employees. Currently, the program does not allow automotive technicians employed by retail stores to participate in the program. House Bill 429 would allow employees at auto dealerships, tire and equipment dealers, Goodyear and NTB, among others, to continue their workforce training.
“The demand for skilled technicians has never been higher,” Rep. Reineke said. “Including retail service technicians in the Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher program will help address the current shortage in our workforce and allow these employees to turn their job into a career. We can get people into an in-demand profession that offers good pay, does not come with the heavy baggage of student debt, and can attract individuals from all walks of life who have an interest in cars, trucks, computers and technology. It lines up exactly with the stated goals of the Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher program, and the entire plan we have as a state to grow our economy.”
As an in-demand position currently, auto mechanics would benefit from being eligible for the program, especially as technology changes and automotive recalls continue to gain national recognition. The bill would work to address the shortage of auto technicians in Ohio and support efforts to provide training for these jobs.
HB 429 now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.