CBS19, SARAH ROBINSON
Senator Tim Kaine and Representative Abigail Spanberger, D-Henrico, are reintroducing the JOBS Act, which could provide funding for short-term education like trade schools.
Kaine says 3.7 million Americans are out of jobs permanently and cannot afford schooling to learn a new trade.
He claims this bill can fix that by helping people gain access to short-term education like trade programs through federal Pell Grants.
He adds it is likely lawmakers will create an economic recovery bill with big infrastructure investments now that the new COVID relief bill has been signed, but there is a catch.
“And in my conversations with the White House, they are very aware of the fact that a big infrastructure bill will not be successful unless we have a trained workforce to make the infrastructure investments,” said Kaine.
Spanberger says the bill is common sense and is an easy thing Congress can do to get millions of Americans back on their feet fast. Most training programs are only eight weeks.
“Allowing students in short-term programs to apply for Pell Grants, we help them afford the training that they need to meet their longer-term career goals and find success in a changing economy, and contribute to the larger economy,” said Spanberger.
Although the bill has strong support from across the aisle, there are some disagreements on the price tag. However, Democrats still think the act has a strong chance of passing.
Spanberger adds that she thinks this bill is also important for economic security by providing the United States a better chance at staying competitive in the global economy post-pandemic.