Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) joined Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) in introducing the Jumpstart Our Businesses By Supporting Students (JOBS) Act, legislation to help students access training for vacant jobs that are unfilled in part due to a shortage of qualified workers. The JOBS Act would close this “skills-gap” by expanding Pell Grant eligibility to cover high-quality and rigorous short-term job training programs so workers can afford the skills training and credentials that are in high demand in today’s job market. Under current law, Pell Grants—needs-based grants for low-income and working students—can only be applied toward programs that are over 600 clock hours or at least 15 weeks in length, even though many job training programs are shorter term.
“Job training programs are proven, successful tools that help people gain the skills they need to prepare for rewarding careers,” said Senator Collins. “By helping students in Maine and across the country access this career pathway, our bipartisan bill will assist young people with obtaining good-paying jobs and make it easier for businesses to find qualified workers.”
The JOBS Act is also cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
The JOBS Act is endorsed by the National Skills Coalition (NSC), the Association of Community Colleges and Trustees (ACCT), the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), IBM, Opportunity America, Jobs for the Future, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Advance CTE, Business Roundtable Table (BRT), and Young Invincibles.
Click here to read the bill text.