A Missouri House committee is considering a bill that would create incentives for businesses to hire apprentices and interns.

If passed, HB 1038 would reward a $1,500 tax credit for each intern or apprentice hired, with each hire earning at least the state’s minimum wage. There would also be a limit of $9,000 in credits per employer, per year.

Hayden Torpey is a college student and Kansas City native who testified in favor of the bill during a public hearing.

“When I was a freshman, I was applying for internships; and I started looking in the business field,” Torpey testified. “And what struck me was a lot of the internships in the Kansas City area are in Overland Park (Kansas) or in Johnson County (Kansas). (It) sadly pained me to have to apply to Kansas, but (I) ended up having to apply for Kansas jobs.”

David Jackson is a St. Louis-based lobbyist who advocates for investors in the start-up community, and a former intern himself. He also testified in favor of the bill.

“We hear about workforce, and we hear about, you know, retaining and finding quality talent; but when you go to our colleges and universities we have an incredible amount of institutions and talent in Missouri,” he told the committee. “We can’t afford to keep losing these kids that come (to Missouri) temporarily, get educated, and then go work in other states.”

HB 1038 is sponsored by State Rep. Brad Christ, R-St. Louis County. If it becomes law, the apprentice tax credits would be available January 1st, 2024, and would automatically sunset six years later.

No one testified against the bill, and a vote is expected later.

Copyright 2023, Missourinet.