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Republican PELL Act Will Revolutionize the Workforce

Today, House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY), along with Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA), and Agriculture Committee Chair "GT" Thompson (R-PA), introduced H.R. 496, the Promoting Employment and Lifelong Learning (PELL) Act, which expands educational and credentialing opportunities for workers looking to gain skills in high-demand fields.
Following the introduction of the PELL Act, Reps. Stefanik, Foxx, Banks, Hinson, and "GT" Thompson said: “For too long, the college-for-all mentality drove Americans toward expensive and often ineffective education pathways, saddling them with debt they cannot repay and degrees with little value in the job market. As our country stares down a historic worker shortage, fewer Americans are getting the skills they need to be successful. That is all about to change.
“The PELL Act will expand the use of the Pell Grant to skills-based programs that provide the type of high-quality credentials that students want and our economy demands. Americans are seeking flexible, short-term learning options that lead to career advancement. Taxpayer dollars need to be more effective in aligning education opportunities with our workforce needs. The PELL Act will help do just that. Connecting workers with the skills job creators seek will help workers, families, and the economy flourish.”
Specifically, H.R. 496, the Promoting Employment and Lifelong Learning (PELL) Act:
  • Creates a Workforce Pell Grant to expand Pell Grant eligibility to high-quality, short-term programs so students can move into a job quickly;
  • Avoids a complex system of red tape and instead provides clear requirements for programs focused on delivering skills education;
  • Allows all education providers to participate as long as they meet certain requirements, including that students will be qualified to work following program completion;
  • Ensures program prices are aligned with economic value so students and taxpayers receive a positive return on investment within three years or less; and,
  • Requires the Department of Education to publish program costs and outcomes on the College Scorecard so students and families are aware of the high-quality education opportunities available to them.
A section-by-section summary of H.R. 496 is available here.

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