Washington endorses lifelong learning benefit for workers
From the Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board
Washington has become the first state in the nation to formally recognize a voluntary employee benefit program that encourages workers to continue their education with assistance from their employer.
Today, Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law Senate Bill 6141 creating the Lifelong Learning Program. The bill legally defines Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs) which are savings accounts funded through matching employer-employee contributions and dedicated to covering the education costs of the participating employee. While Illinois legislated a pilot LiLA program and Senator Maria Cantwell has introduced LiLA legislation in Congress, the state of Washington is the first to adopt legislation recognizing LiLAs as an optional employee benefit.
The law builds on a pilot program that has operated since 2009 with employers in Thurston, Lewis, Pacific and Grays Harbor counties. The pilot was launched through the support of a grant from a national funder and private partners such as the Association of Washington Business. The bill does not provide any state funding but will make it easier for the program to secure additional private support and expand to more employers statewide.
- Lifelong Learning 3.0 (part 1) (georgejamescooke.wordpress.com)
- Seniors Benefit from Lifelong Learning (money.usnews.com)