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Hassan, Shaheen reintroduce bill to help more Americans access job training

By Staff | Feb 5, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and Jeanne Shaheen joined colleagues in reintroducing the Jumpstart Our Businesses By Supporting Students (JOBS) Act. This bipartisan legislation would help expand access to more job training programs for students and workers who need additional training, or a leg up in their career, by making high-quality, shorter-term education and training programs eligible for federal Pell Grants.

“Job training programs allow employees to improve their professional skills and access better-paying jobs, which strengthens the American workforce as a whole,” said Senator Hassan. “It is important to make job training programs, whether they are long- or short-term, more accessible for students of all backgrounds. Our bipartisan bill will do just that, and I will continue working to pass it in the Senate to help Granite State students and businesses succeed in the 21st century economy.”

“As the economy continues to recover from the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important we invest in our students to ensure they acquire the skills necessary to secure good-paying jobs,” said Senator Shaheen. “This legislation will expand Pell Grant eligibility, increasing the affordability and accessibility of short-term job training programs. I’ll keep working in the Senate to invest in the success of our workers and economy.”

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 quality job training programs are shorter term. The bipartisan JOBS Act would amend the Higher Education Act to expand Pell Grant eligibility to students enrolled in high-quality job training programs that are at least 8 weeks in length and lead to industry-recognized credentials and certificates.

Hassan is working to prepare students for the 21st century economy. In the government funding bill which was recently signed into law, Senator Hassan doubled funding for a program that supports rural students, including college prep and career pathway programs in rural communities. In addition, the bill included the largest increase in Pell Grants in over a decade, which Senator Hassan advocated for. Following calls from Senator Hassan, the Department of Health and Human Services also announced that it is expanding Head Start Program eligibility to help more families in New Hampshire and across the country access affordable, high-quality early education services. Senator Hassan worked across the aisle to help develop and pass into law the CHIPS and Science Act, which includes critical workforce development and training provisions.

Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to help students manage their debt and to make college more affordable, championing legislation to increase access to higher education for Granite Staters. In the previous Congress, she reintroduced the Simplifying Access to Student Loan Information Act, which calls for the development of a central online portal to allow students to review all their public and private student loans, as well as repayment options, in one place. She also reintroduced her bill, the Student Protection and Success Act, which works to curb skyrocketing student debt by increasing higher education institutions’ accountability for their students’ ability to repay their loans and requiring institutions to have a vested interest in the success of their students. Shaheen has previously introduced legislation to aid undergraduate borrowers and successfully ushered her legislation with Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Braun (R-IN) and Fischer (R-NE) to combat student debt relief scams through Congress. It was signed into law in 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Shaheen led and supported numerous efforts to provide necessary relief to students and their families to afford college and other higher education opportunities. Last year, Shaheen helped introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would double the Pell Grant award and make college more affordable.


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