Hoeven Working to Prepare Entrepreneurs, Workers for Industries of the Future

Senator Outlines Efforts to Create Pro-Growth Business Climate, Improve Access to Portable Benefits, Support STEM Education & College Affordability

WASHINGTON – As part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Governors Association’s Invest in America! Summit today, Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.), a member of the Entrepreneurship Caucus, outlined his efforts to ensure the nation’s workers are prepared for the jobs of the future. Hoeven has been working since his time as Governor of North Dakota to establish the state as a hub of technology entrepreneurship, which serves as the third wave in the state’s economic growth. In order to maintain America’s leadership in technology development, the senator is working to replicate the same kinds of policies at the national level that have led to the state’s growth in this increasingly vital industry. To this end, Hoeven is advancing:

  • A pro-growth business climate through tax and regulatory relief.
  • Greater certainty for entrepreneurs by improving access to portable benefits through measures like the Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act, which he will reintroduce with Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.).
  • Expanded opportunities for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and improved affordability of higher education.

“Technology is advancing at an ever-increasing rate, revolutionizing how we do business and constantly creating new opportunities for growth,” said Hoeven. “If we want our nation to remain competitive, we need to put our entrepreneurs and workforce in a position to seize these opportunities. That starts with building a business climate that encourages investment and innovation, which is why we’ve prioritized reducing the tax and regulatory burden. On top of this, we are working to provide greater certainty to entrepreneurs and independent workers, and our portable benefits legislation supports the development of new benefit models that they can rely on when starting a business. Lastly, we are promoting access to STEM education to ensure workers can develop the knowledge and skills they will need in these rapidly-developing industries, while also working to make higher education more affordable.”

Tax & Regulatory Relief

Hoeven has made tax and regulatory relief top priorities throughout his time in Congress. By reducing tax rates across the board and eliminating burdensome, duplicative federal rules, these efforts help reduce expenses and empower businesses, large and small, to grow and invest in their operations. 

At the same time, workers and their families benefit from higher take-home pay, resulting from lower tax rates and higher demand for labor. This increased financial security enables more innovators to strike out on their own, helping drive further technology entrepreneurship.

Portable Benefits

The Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act is bipartisan legislation that would direct the Secretary of Labor to fund and evaluate innovative models for providing benefits to independent workers, including self-employed entrepreneurs, which can move with a worker from job to job. The bill incentivizes experimentation with portable benefits models, which could include health insurance, retirement savings, workers compensation, life or disability insurance, sick leave, training and educational benefits. Through this pilot program, Hoeven hopes to establish a model that allows more entrepreneurs to take the risk of starting new businesses, while ensuring greater financial security and well-being for themselves and their families.

STEM Education & College Affordability

Hoeven worked through his role on the Senate Appropriations Committee to help secure the following priorities in Fiscal Year 2019:

  • $1.2 billion for Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, which can be used by all school districts to support STEM education.
  • Dedicated STEM funding within the Education Innovation and Research program.

In addition to his STEM-specific work, Hoeven is cosponsoring legislation to make higher education more affordable. This includes the bipartisan Employer Participation in Repayment Act, which was introduced by Senators Warner and John Thune (R-S.D.), that would allow employers to provide student loan repayment for their employees up to $5,250 each year tax free. Last Congress, Hoeven also cosponsored the Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act, which would extend Pell grant eligibility to students pursuing high-quality, shorter-term job training programs that meet regional workforce needs.