Recently, members of CAI’s Government and Public Affairs team spent the day on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress to advocate for the reintroduction of the 2023 Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act. We’re pleased to announce the Act was reintroduced March 8 in both the House of Representatives (H.R. 1477) and the Senate (S. 722).

This bipartisan and bicameral legislation expands eligible uses of tax-favorable 529 savings plans to cover costs associated with workforce training and credentialing programs such as CAI’s education and credential opportunities. This bill provides valuable tax-advantaged resources for workers who pursue alternative career pathways, mid-career changes, or career growth.

CAI encourages the national certification of community association managers. In states that propose mandatory regulation of community association managers, CAI supports a regulatory system that incorporates adequate protections for homeowners, mandatory education and testing on fundamental management knowledge, standards of conduct and appropriate insurance requirements. CAI opposes the licensing of community association managers as real estate brokers, agents, or property managers.

Our organization provides seven different professional credential opportunities for community association professionals ranging from community manager (Association Management Specialist (AMS), Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM), Large-Scale Manager (LSM), Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC)), insurance and risk management (Community Insurance and Risk Management Specialist (CIRMS)), reserve analysts (Reserve Specialist (RS)), and attorney (College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL)) credentials. These credentials recognize a professional’s achievements in the community association industry. Our industry is expanding, and communities need qualified professionals to safeguard and empower the financial well-being, physical maintenance, and social harmony of community associations. Professionals who earn credentials receive an average 55% increase in salary, according to CAI.

This act would provide economic flexibility to American workers and their families by providing up to $10,000 a year from 529 plans to help cover:

  • Certification program tuition;
  • Testing fees including practice exams;
  • Required books and equipment;
  • Continuing education and certification renewal; and
  • Other charges required to obtain and maintain a certification.

The American workforce is comprised mostly of middle-skill jobs that require more than a high school education but not a bachelor’s degree, according to the National Skills Coalition. A differentiator for obtaining jobs in the 21st century economy is through a professional certification—for workers with or without a college degree.

CAI successfully advocated for the reintroduction of this legislation through the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC). CAI is an organizational member of the PCC along with more than 100 other associations that credential professionals within their respective industries. The PCC engages in state and federal advocacy, analysis, and thought leadership on legislation affecting non-governmental certification organizations and those who hold or rely on those credentials including regulators, employers, and the public. The PCC is a Washington, D.C., nonprofit association governed by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence and ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership.

URGE YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO COSPONSOR THIS BILL. Help CAI and the PCC support this legislation today by contacting your representatives and urge them to co-sponsor this bill.

Click here for more information on CAI’s credentials and here for more information on CAI’s community association manager licensing public policy.

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