Scott, Foxx on New Data Showing Americans Overwhelmingly Support Workforce Pell

WASHINGTON  Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) and Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) celebrated the National Institute for Civil Discourse’s (NICD) latest polling results that show overwhelming support among Americans for Workforce Pell.  

“The new polling data from the National Institute for Civil Discourse shows that Americans, no matter their political affiliation, overwhelmingly support expanding the Pell Grant to high-quality, short-term training programs,” said Ranking Member Scott. “The Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act will help students afford short-term training programs, workers find in-demand and good-paying jobs, and employers fill job openings with quality candidates.  I look forward to bringing this policy to the House floor and eventually to the President’s desk.”

“The recent survey data provided by the NICD is welcome news and shows the environment is ripe for transformative changes to skills-based learning. With 10 million unfilled jobs, employers across all industries are eager to find qualified workers. Job creators find that skills-based credentials can effectively prepare workers. But many of these short-term programs are out of reach for low-income students,” said Chairwoman Foxx“While the Pell Grant has opened college doors to low-income students, current law does not allow low-income students to use their aid for short-term education programs that match the needs of the economy. That’s why I joined my colleagues in introducing the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act. Specifically, it allows Pell Grants to support students enrolled in high-quality, short-term education programs that will lead to career advancement. With 88 percent of Americans supporting Workforce Pell overall, it remains clear that Congress must advance the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act.”


  • 79 percent of survey respondents believe the kind of career-connected learning that would be supported through Workforce Pell gets too little support relative to college; 
  • 87 percent of survey respondents believe performance outcomes are an appropriate measure of short-term program quality—64 percent support earnings requirements;
  • 71 percent of survey respondents think there should be no more than five administrative criteria to determine the effectiveness of a short-term program; and
  • 64 percent of survey respondents oppose excluding online education programs.



In December the Committee passed H.R. 6585, the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act, which:

  • Helps low-income students participate in short-term programs to move into a job quickly.
  • Creates a quality assurance system for Workforce Pell Grant programs—allowing any institution of higher education to participate as long as they meet all the requirements.
  • Guarantees that program prices are aligned with economic value, so students and taxpayers receive a positive return on investment.
  • Ensures programs provide students with relevant education and competencies necessary for employment in in-demand industries.
  • Outlines a process for recognized accreditors to oversee Workforce Pell programs at the institutions they accredit and supports the on-ramp of new expert accreditors to oversee Workforce Pell programs, minimizing the time it will take to implement Workforce Pell fully.



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