Delgado stresses need to develop workforce at Chamber breakfast

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POUGHKEEPSIE – “Small businesses like the ones my family and I interact with daily across Dutchess County fuel our upstate economy,” Congressman Antonio Delgado (D, NY-19) told members of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

The freshman lawmaker and Rhodes Scholar spoke about his work in Congress focused on economic development and supporting small businesses.

“Hearing from small business owners about their experiences informs my work on the House Small Business Committee,” said Delgado. “I look forward to continuing to work together to support our small businesses and invest in our communities so we’re ready to meet the economic and workforce needs of the future.”

Last month, Delgado convened a meeting of his NY-19 Small Business Advisory Committee to listen to the issues small businesses face and formulate legislative priorities for 2020. He also joined the Chambers of Commerce in Ulster, Greene, and Otsego and Deposit.  Delgado noted that a few of the Dutchess Chamber members at the breakfast serve on his Small Business Advisory Committee.

Delgado recently introduced the Gateway to Careers Act to create a career pathway grant program that would fund partnerships between community or technical colleges and workforce development partners such as state workforce development boards, industry associations, and community-based organizations.

These programs would support efforts to offer wrap-around services including child care, opioid addiction treatment, transportation, and other forms of assistance for community college and career and technical education (CTE) students.  The congressman received a round of applause when he told the audience that “We need to stop thinking that everyone is going to get a four-year degree,” and stressed the need for educational institutions like BOCES to teach job skills.

The lawmaker told the room full of business owners about his initiative, with bipartisan support, to make it easier for small businesses to comply with complex federal regulations by requiring the Small Business Administration’s Office of the National Ombudsman to create a centralized website that houses small business compliance guides designed to help those businesses comply with federal regulations.

That bill has passed the House. Delgado also introduced the Tax Fairness for the Self-Employed Act, bipartisan legislation that would make changes to the tax code to level the playing field for self-employed small business owners by making sure that self-employed individuals can access the same tax deductions as corporations when it comes to health insurance premiums. The bill would allow more than 1.7 million self-employed individuals in New York to deduct their health care premiums as a business expense, saving self-employed individuals an average of $750 a year, according to a statement released by his office.