FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2023
Contact: Emma Bittner
(972) 510-3395 | Emma.Bittner@younginvincibles.org
Two New Bills Could have Major Impact on Careers for Young Adults
(Washington, DC) – The House Committee on Education and the Workforce introduced and marked up two bills this week that will directly impact young adult career pathways. The first bill, H.R. 6585, the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act, expands the federal Pell Grant program to include eligible skills-based training programs between 6 and 15 weeks. The second bill, H.R. 6655, A Stronger Workforce for America Act, reauthorizes the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity program (WIOA), which has remained unauthorized since 2014.
These acts include crucial provisions that allow young adult workers to access skills-training in a rapidly evolving labor market. While it is encouraging to see the bipartisan interest in career development and economic prosperity of young adults, in certain capacities these bills just don’t do enough to ensure quality and robust programs. Especially the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act, which under the current version leaves many open doors for exploitative and predatory behaviors from for-profit institutions.
Young Invincibles wants to ensure young adults, especially those from marginalized communities, and taxpayers are protected. We also desire young adults to have the tools and knowledge necessary to thrive and fully participate in an evolving world. This is a significant time in history that could change the career trajectories and mobility of millions of young adult workers, but only if we get it right.
In response, Alex Lundrigan, Workforce and Finance Policy Coordinator at Young Invincibles, said:
“We need major changes in how we prepare today’s workforce to lead to quality careers for young people. It is encouraging to see bipartisan negotiations on issues like Pell Grant eligibility for short-term credentials and WIOA. The spirit of the law is one thing and the impact is another.
The current version of these bills need significant revisions to carry the impact we want on young adult career pathways. Especially regarding the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act, if we aren’t going to exclude for-profit institutions, we aren’t confident the guardrails go far enough to prevent predatory behavior by for-profits. The WIOA reauthorization holds much for significant prospects but also needs substantial additions focusing on wraparound services.
These two pieces of legislation are an incredible opportunity to revolutionize the future of our workforce, but we can’t stop here. We must continue to create equitable pathways and quality programs for young adults to build their future.”
Young Invincibles (YI) is a national advocacy and policy nonprofit organization focused on amplifying the voice of young people in the political process at the local, state, and federal levels. YI focuses on issues impacting young adults ages 18 to 34 in higher education, health care, economic security, and civic engagement. Our offices include Washington, D.C., California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Texas. For more information, please contact Emma Bittner at (972) 510-3395 or email@example.com