House Lawmakers Introduce Short-Term Pell Bill

June 27, 2019

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday that would expand Pell Grant eligibility to higher ed programs as short as eight weeks.

Qualifying students can currently use Pell Grants to attend certificate programs that are at least 15 weeks long. Supporters of the bill, dubbed the JOBS Act, argue the change would allow more workers to get training that leads to employment.

"In an evolving workforce, we must work to meet the needs of middle-skill jobs," said Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana Democrat and one of the bill's co-sponsors. "The JOBS Act accomplishes that goal and makes a meaningful investment in the development of America's talent."

The bill's other House co-sponsors include Steven Horsford, a Nevada Democrat; Andy Levin, a Michigan Democrat; Anthony Gonzalez, an Ohio Republican; Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Washington Republican; and John Katko, a New York Republican.

Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine and Ohio Republican Rob Portman introduced a Senate version of the legislation in March.

Supporters include the National Skills Coalition, the Association of Community Colleges and Trustees, the American Association of Community Colleges and Young Invincibles.

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