Senate Briefing Addresses Employers Connecting to CTE Programs

As Congress continues to debate the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill last week, which included employers from industries that rely on skilled workers and how they connect with workforce training and CTE programs in their communities. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), vice chair of the caucus, also participated in the briefing and touted his legislation, Jumpstart Our Businesses By Supporting Students (JOBS) Act (S.1900/H.R.3985), which would amend the Higher Education Act by expanding Pell Grant eligibility to students enrolled in short-term job training programs. Under the current law, Pell Grants – needs-based grants for low-income and working students – can only be applied towards programs that are over 600 clock hours or at least 15 weeks in length, even though many job training programs are shorter term. The JOBS Act would expand Pell Grant eligibility to students enrolled in high-quality job training programs that are at least eight weeks in length and lead to industry-recognized credentials and certificates. An archive of the briefing can be viewed here.

IEC continues to work with Opportunity America to advance legislation supporting funding for CTE programs.