WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) joined Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) in introducing the Jumpstart Our Businesses By Supporting Students (JOBS) Act, bipartisan and bicameral legislation to make high-quality, shorter-term education and training programs eligible for federal Pell Grants.


“Our economy is only as strong as our workforce. By Increasing access to job training programs and other in demand career pathways, we are preparing the next generation of workers to meet the opportunities of tomorrow," Senator Cramer. “The JOBS Act is a commonsense way to open more doors for students by diversifying the educational opportunities available to them.”


The JOBS Act would amend the Higher Education Act by:


  • Expanding Pell Grant eligibility to students enrolled in rigorous and high-quality short-term skills and job training programs that lead to industry-based credentials and ultimately employment in high-wage, high-skill industry sectors or careers
  • Ensuring that students who receive Pell Grants are earning high-quality postsecondary credentials by requiring that the credentials:
    • Meet the standards under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), such as meaningful career counseling and aligning programs to in-demand career pathways or registered apprenticeship programs
    • Align with the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act’s program of study definition
    • Are recognized by employers, industry, or sector partnerships
    • Align with the skill needs of industries in the state or local economy
    • Are approved by the state workforce board in addition to the U.S. Department of Education
  • Defining eligible job training programs as those providing career and technical education instruction at an institution of higher education, such as a community or technical college that provides:
    • At least 150 clock hours of instruction time over a period of at least 8 weeks
    • Training that meets the needs of the local or regional workforce and industry partnerships
    • Institutional credit articulation so students can continue to pursue further education in their careers
    • Students with licenses, certifications, or credentials that meet the hiring requirements of multiple employers in the field for which the job training is offered
  • Creating an inter-agency data sharing agreement between the Department of Labor and Department of Education to share WIOA performance outcomes metrics such as median earnings and completion


Learn more about the JOBS Act here and read the bill text here.


Senators Cramer, Kaine, and Portman are joined on the bill by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mike Braun (R-IN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Roger Wicker (R-MS). U.S. Representatives Andy Levin (D-MI-09) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are joined on the House bill by Representatives Abigail Spanberger(D-VA-07), Steven Horsford (D-NV-04), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-03), John Katko (R-NY-24), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE At Large), and Ashley Hinson (R-IA-01).


The JOBS Act is endorsed by the National Skills Coalition (NSC), the Association of Community Colleges and Trustees (ACCT), the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Opportunity America, Jobs for the Future, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Advance CTE, Rebuilding America’s Middle Class (RAMC), Higher Learning Advocates, Business Roundtable, and the Virginia Community College System.