W.Va. Treasurer Markets New Savings Plan for Tech School Graduates and Students

Oct. 8—FAIRMONT — Sometimes working in a trade can be expensive.

West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore is touring the state to market his new tax-advantaged savings plan, Jump Start, which will encourage tech college or trade school students to save money for future expenses at work.

On Thursday, Moore stopped by Pierpont Community and Technical College’s Advanced Technology Center to give students and faculty information about this new savings program.

Jump Start accounts can be opened by anyone, but the beneficiary of the account must be a student or graduate in an eligible occupation, profession or trade.

Jump Start is essentially a tax-deductible savings account. Account holders can deposit as little or as much each year and can deduct the deposits from their income tax up to $25,000 per year.

The restriction is that money in the account is only used for tooling, equipment supplies, licenses, certifications, or start-up costs related to the recipient’s trade.

According to Treasurer Moore, this program is the first of its kind in the country and there are already other states trying their own versions of the initiative.

“We’re leading the way there. We have other states like Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin looking to replicate that program,” Moore said. “It’s the first of its kind in the country.”

Just Start is similar in style to West Virginia’s other tax-advantaged savings plan, 529. While 529 is specifically for education expenses, Jump Start is for post-schooling.

Jump Start also offers employer matching, where a recipient’s employer can match the savings put into the account and also deduct the matching from their taxes.

“There’s a lot of upside to that that could really compound,” Moore said. “It’s really focused on the training and the work going on in the state of West Virginia.”

Moore was a laborer himself before entering politics. He is a welder by training and knows well the difficulties faced by young people who want to start their own business after school.

He hopes it will fuel the change happening in West Virginia’s workforce and economy while helping those who need it most.

“If we’re going to grow and strengthen the economy in West Virginia, that means we have to grow and strengthen the middle class. All of these types of jobs that we had in the state of West Virginia…that were either relocated or gone,” Moore said. “We have to bring them back.”

The Pierpont administration present was pleased to hear of Moore’s progress and support for technical school students.

Dale Bradley, CFO of Pierpont, is aware that when it comes to support, much of the focus can be on four-year institutions and their students. This initiative validates the work done at Pierpont and similar schools.

“It’s important for community colleges and Pierpont because I’m not sure everyone realizes the options available to them through community college,” Bradley said. “It’s not about second-rate education, it’s more about giving someone the skills they need right away to get them into the job market. This brings some value to the students and to the region.

For more information on the Jump Start program, visit www.wvjumpstart.com

Contact David Kirk at 304-367-2522 or by email at [email protected]

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