by Mitch Coppes, Government Relations Senior Specialist, Goodwill Industries International
Access to high-quality credentialing opportunities and continued education and training beyond high school have become essential pathways to the middle class and rewarding careers for most Americans. This comes at a time when the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have left millions of displaced workers who need to reskill to reenter a rapidly changing workforce. And for many low-income students, the ongoing crisis of affordability has created high barriers to postsecondary enrollment and completion in traditional higher education.
Through initiatives like the Community College/Career Collaboration (C4), Goodwill has partnered with community colleges to promote postsecondary education access for low-income and nontraditional students. Goodwill believes that all students should be able to choose from a range of affordable postsecondary education pathways, including career and technical education, apprenticeships, occupational training, and credentialing opportunities that will help prepare a competitive and resiliently skilled workforce for the future.
We also work with lawmakers to help advance policy solutions that will empower students to achieve their education and career goals.
This week, a bipartisan group in the House and Senate reintroduced the Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act. Pell Grants have long been the cornerstone of federal financial assistance programs that help students afford postsecondary education. The JOBS Act would extend Pell Grant eligibility to students enrolled in short-term training programs that lead to market-valued credentials. It would ensure that short-term training programs are rigorous and aligned with the workforce needs of employers. The reforms proposed in this bill will help open up education and training pathways to many low-income and nontraditional students, with a focus on preparing them for in-demand careers.
The JOBS Act is backed by a broad coalition of community colleges, workforce stakeholders, and employers. Goodwill Industries International, Inc. is proud to endorse this important legislation. Join us in this effort and ask your Members of Congress to support the JOBS Act.