Rep. Axne Sponsors Skills Training and Career Education Package
DES MOINES – Today, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) announced she has signed onto three pieces of legislation that would expand career education for students of all ages. The School to Career Pathways Act, the START Career Pathways Act, and the Making Education Affordable & Accessible Act would provide funding for career pathways programs in K-12 schools, expand Pell Grants to job training programs, and establish funding for dual enrollment programs with an emphasis on supporting rural communities, respectively.
“I ran for Congress to make sure that every Iowan has the skills they need for a good-paying job. We need to focus on industry certifications, apprenticeship programs and providing students of all ages with the opportunity to get hands-on, career training so they can compete in our 21st century economy and meet their professional goals,” said Rep. Axne. “It’s time Washington understands that college isn’t the only path to success.”
- The School to Career Pathways Act establishes a competitive funding program for K-12 schools to work with local businesses to create comprehensive, locally-tailored career programs, including apprenticeship and internship programs and other real-world experience opportunities.
- The START (Short-term Accelerated Reskilling Tracks) Career Pathways Act will increase funding for community college partnerships with local industries and allow students to receive Federal Pell Grants for short-term certification programs. Usually, Federal Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students, however, this bill would expand eligibility to short-term job training programs.
- The Making Education Affordable & Accessible Act expands funding for dual enrollment and stackable credit programs for high school students. Stackable certification programs allow students to earn a certificate or associates degree at a community college and return later with their credits counting towards their degree. Specifically, the legislation establishes a grant the Secretary can award to eligible institutions of higher education that carry out these types of programs. The bill prioritizes programs in rural communities and those serving low-income families and first-generation college students.