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Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Train Students for In-Demand Jobs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ayobami Olugbemiga, Press Secretary
AyobamiO@nationalskillscoalition.org
May 22, 2019

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Tina Smith (D-MN), along with U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) today introduced the Community College to Career Fund in Higher Education Act (CC2C). This legislation, which Duckworth has previously introduced, would establish competitive grants to support partnerships between community and technical colleges and businesses that train students for careers in high-demand fields, such as advanced manufacturing, health care, and information technology. 

A recent poll conducted by ALG Research on behalf of National Skills Coalition shows that 92 percent of Americans across political parties support more partnerships between community colleges and businesses.

Many community colleges already partner with businesses to expand high-quality training opportunities for students, but targeted federal funding for these partnerships has been lacking since the expiration of the Trade Adjustment Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program in FY 2014,” said Katie Brown, senior federal policy analyst at National Skills Coalition. “This legislation would support and scale the efforts of industry partnerships so that more students and employers can succeed in today's economy.” 

The reintroduction of this legislation is part of a recent Congressional effort to reauthorize and modernize the Higher Education Act (HEA). In the past two months, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced three other bills to make the higher education system more responsive to the needs of students and employers – Jumpstarting our Businesses to Support Students (JOBS) Act, College Transparency Act (CTA), and Gateway to Careers Act

  • The College Transparency Act – introduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Representatives Paul Mitchell (R-MI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) –  would give students access to secure, transparent, and easily accessible data that lets them know what education institutions and training programs will provide the best return on investment.  
  • The JOBS Act – introduced by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) – would expand federal Pell Grants to working students in high-quality, short-term training programs, a policy that is supported by 86 percent of Americans
  • The Gateway to Careers Act – introduced by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Todd Young (R-IN), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) – would authorize a new grant program in the Higher Education Act (HEA) to cover support services, like childcare, transportation assistance, and career counseling, to help working adults and other nontraditional students complete their degree or credential program. That policy is also supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans (82 percent).

“These are the kinds of meaningful policy solutions lawmakers should adopt to modernize the Higher Education Act,” said Brown. “Together, they expand opportunities for families; give students the support they need to complete their education programs; provide employers with a diverse pipeline of skilled workers, and improve access, affordability, and quality of postsecondary programs across all lengths and disciplines.”

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For more information contact Ayobami Olugbemiga, press secretary, at AyobamiO@nationalskillscoalition.org