You have /5 articles left.
Sign up for a free account or log in.

The Skills First Coalition, a group of American businesses and education and training providers, wants the 118th Congress to pass legislation that would expand Pell Grants to short-term programs, improve the transfer of credits between higher education institutions and support new approaches to credentialing and skills verification, among other priorities.

The coalition includes IBM, HP, Boeing and Western Governors University.

“Close collaboration between businesses, educators, and lawmakers to advance the aforementioned polices will further enhance efforts to meet the needs of workers and employers while future-proofing the U.S. economy,” the coalition wrote in a letter Wednesday to the House and Senate education committees. “The stakes have never been higher to meet the demands of this moment for current and future generations.”

North Carolina representative Virginia Foxx, who chairs the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, introduced a bill Wednesday along with a group of other House Republicans that would expand the use of the Pell Grant to programs that run for at least eight weeks. Eligible programs also would have to offer programs that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations, meet the hiring requirements of potential employers. The programs also would have to operate for a year before becoming eligible and have completion and job placement rates of at least 70 percent.