February 01, 2023

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill to Help More Americans Access High-Quality Job Training, Get Good-Paying Jobs

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) on the Jumpstarting Our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act. This bipartisan legislation would help more Americans get good-paying jobs by allowing students to use federal Pell Grants to afford high-quality, shorter-term job training programs for the first time.

Senator Cortez Masto has been a strong supporter of Pell Grants, which are need-based education grants for low-income and working students. Currently, students can only use Pell Grants for two-year and four-year colleges or universities. By expanding Pell Grant eligibility, the JOBS Act would help close the skills gap and provide workers with the job training and credentials they need for careers in high-demand fields.

“Nevadans in job training programs should be able to access the same federal grants as students attending colleges and universities,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This commonsense fix would boost our workforce and make it easier for thousands of Nevadans to find good-paying jobs and support their families.”

The JOBS Act would allow Pell Grants to be used for high-quality job training programs that are at least eight weeks in length and lead to industry-recognized credentials or certificates. Under current law, Pell Grants can only be applied toward programs that are over 600 clock hours or at least 15 weeks in length, rendering students in shorter-term, high-quality job training programs ineligible for crucial assistance.

Full text of the bill is available here, and a summary of the bill is available here.

Senator Cortez Masto has stood up for Nevada’s students throughout her time in the Senate. She has introduced legislation to reform the Pell Grant and federal student loan system so that more Nevadans can access higher education without burdensome debt. She has passed multiple pieces of legislation to support Nevada’s workforce ,including in the recently passed Chips and Science Act.  She has also supported legislation and delivered federal resources for training in in-demand industries like health caretravel and tourism, and transportation.