Congressman Scott Taylor (VA-2) sent a letter to President Donald Trump this week to urge his administration to invest in education for Americans. By aligning legislation with his new infrastructure initiative, Trump, according to Taylor, should offer Pell Grants to citizens in efforts to guide people towards high-demand fields in the private sector.
According to a press release, Congressman Taylor stated in his letter:
“Those individuals who qualify for Pell Grants should have the flexibility to use them to obtain skills for in-demand jobs. There are tens of thousands of jobs, right here in Virginia, that are unfilled. Modernizing the Pell Grant program will increase individual choice and provide a hand-up for those who may want to quickly enter the workforce with a needed skill rather than pursuing a two or four year degree. Demand in the workforce for these skills is high and the President is correct in calling for this.”
Last year, Congressman Taylor introduced H.R. 3831, the Professional Pell Education Learning (PROPEL) Act. The program was set to expand student choice by providing individuals with a career pathway outside of the traditional four-year academic route.
Similar to the GI Bill and the FastForward initiative in Virginia implemented by the New Economy Workforce Credential Grants program, it will provide an alternative path to the middle class.
Taylor explained, “With the intense pressure on today’s students to attend four-year colleges, many nontraditional schools that offer training for in-demand jobs are often neglected. Candidates for these jobs are sourced from trade and vocational schools that offer short-term certification programs.”
The PROPEL Act will allow nontraditional schools already approved for GI benefits to become Pell Grant eligible. The press release explained that state approving agencies (SAAs), as authorized by Title 38 US Code, will make available shorter-term education programs by offering another pathway to certification for schools.