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Hinson Co-Leads Legislation to Create New Opportunity for Iowa Workers

March 22, 2021

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (R-IA) joined U.S. Representatives Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), Andy Levin (MI-09), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), John Katko (NY-24), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE At Large) in reintroducing the bipartisan Jumpstart Our Businesses By Supporting Students (JOBS) Act that expands Pell Grant eligibility to qualifying short-term training programs to help more Americans gain access to industry recognized credentials. This is companion legislation to a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).

“Our district is home to many community colleges that offer career and technical education programs for students. I am proud to help introduce the JOBS Act, legislation that will help more Iowans access workforce development programs. This high-quality skills training empowers students to reach their full potential and connect them to good paying, in-demand jobs in the community after graduation. I will keep working on common sense policies that ensure Iowans have access to opportunity.” -Congresswoman Ashley Hinson

“Short-term training programs offer students opportunities to quickly build skills and earning potential,”said Emily Shields, Executive Director of the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees. “Including these programs in Pell would help Iowa’s Community Colleges offer critical education and training to more Iowans.”

The JOBS Act would extend Pell Grant eligibility to qualified programs that are between 150 and 600 clock hours and at least eight weeks in length, meaning students from all walks of life will have access to the training and skills needed to tap into the existing job market and succeed in a 21st Century economy.
The bill also amends the Higher Education Act (HEA) by adding in two additional categories that would qualify for Pell Grants: “eligible career pathway program” and “eligible job training program”. Both categories include specific criteria that must be met by a program to qualify. This includes certifying that the training provided by the program is aligned with the requirements of high-skill, high-wage, or in-demand industries in the state or local area and that upon completion of the program, the student will have a postsecondary credential recognized by the local industry.