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Stefanik, Scott, Foxx, DeSaulnier Legislation Tackles Workforce Gaps

Introduce Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act

WASHINGTON – Today, House Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Ranking Member Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) introduced H.R. 6585, the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act. The legislation provides opportunities for students and workers looking to gain skills in high-demand fields by allowing Pell Grants to support students enrolled in high-quality, short-term workforce programs that will lead to career advancement.
“I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act to expand learning opportunities for the development of a skilled workforce. This bill will allow Pell Grants to be used for high-quality short-term programs that equip students to join our workforce immediately,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Unlocking skills and development opportunities will help connect workers with high-demand career fields in Upstate New York and the North Country.”
“Currently, you cannot use a Pell Grant for short-term training programs, like IT or welding courses. As a result, many adults cannot afford to attend or complete courses that will help them get good-paying jobs and compete in the modern economy. This is a disservice to our students, workers, and employers. The Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act will expand Pell Grant eligibility to high-quality, short-term training programs. By providing adults more opportunities to participate in quality training programs, Congress will ensure that more Americans have a pathway to the middle class, and businesses can hire the well-trained workers they need,” said Ranking Member Scott.
“America has always been a skills-based economy, so it’s critical that we retool the Pell Grant to match the education needs of both students and employers,” said Chairwoman Foxx. “The Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act achieves this goal by elevating skills-based programs, investing in upskilling, and promoting an education model tailored to workforce needs. This bill is a major win for students and workers, as well as employers who are desperately looking to fill in-demand jobs.”
“By making high-quality, short-term training programs Pell Grant eligible, we can connect low-income Americans with good-paying jobs and connect employers with the trained workforce they need,” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “This legislation will give students and workers a chance to advance their careers and provide them the skills they need to succeed. I’ve long supported policies to make programs that combine education and workforce training more accessible and I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation to establish Workforce Pell.”
The Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act:
  • Helps low-income students participate in short-term programs to move into a job quickly.
  • Creates a quality assurance system for Workforce Pell Grant programs—allowing any institution of higher education to participate as long as they meet all the requirements.
  • Guarantees that program prices are aligned with economic value, so students and taxpayers receive a positive return on investment.
  • Ensures programs provide students with relevant education and competencies necessary for employment in in-demand industries. 
  • Outlines a process for recognized accreditors to oversee Workforce Pell programs at the institutions they accredit and supports the on-ramp of new expert accreditors to oversee Workforce Pell programs, minimizing the time it will take to implement Workforce Pell fully.

Click here for a fact sheet.
Click here for bill text.
Click here for a bill summary.

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