Bipartisan legislation was reintroduced last week to address the student debt crisis and help fill worker shortages.
If passed, the bill, Workforce Development Through Post-Graduation Scholarships Act of 2021, would expand post-graduation scholarship grant programs by mandating that scholarship recipients are not required to pay income taxes on awarded funding.
The bill is based on the Come Home Award created by the Community Foundation of St. Clair County.
According to the community foundation, the Come Home Award is a talent retention program and pays graduates on the back-end of their college career, after they have completed a degree in a STEAM related field, if they agree to move to and work within St. Clair County after graduation.
If passed, the bill will allow philanthropic reverse scholarships like the Come Home Award to college-degree-seeking individuals who choose to move back home and students wouldn’t be taxed for the financial support.
Randy Maiers, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, was instrumental in the legislation’s development. Maiers has partnered with U.S. Senator Gary Peters in supporting this legislation.
“We’re excited to partner with Senator Peters in supporting post-graduation scholarships like the Come Home program we’ve developed that is bringing the best and brightest workers back to St. Clair County,” Maiers said in a press release. “These awards are a win-win for our area: they help recipients pay back their student loan debt while putting their training and education to good use.”
CMF has continued to advocate for legislation over the years to support reverse scholarship programs.
In partnership with the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, Council on Foundations and Philanthropy West Virginia, CMF has been working with Senator Peters' and Senator Capito’s offices on the bill.
“The Council of Michigan Foundations is proud to work with Senator Peters and our community of philanthropy on innovative strategies to retain and attract talent in support of Michigan’s talent agenda and economic growth,” Kyle Caldwell, president and CEO of CMF said in a press release. “As an increasing number of students are taking on significant loan debt, the Workforce Development Through Post-Graduation Scholarships Act offers financial relief for graduates looking to come to or return to Michigan. This added resource strengthens the partnership between philanthropy and businesses as we look to create pathways to economic stability for individuals and families that strengthen Michigan’s workforce.”
Learn more about the bill.