Hultgren Cosponsors Bills to Educate Workforce, Provide Loans to Low-Income Students
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) has cosponsored two bills to help more Americans, including from low-income backgrounds, enter the workforce with the knowledge and skills they need to compete for good-paying, in-demand jobs in industries critical to the nation’s economy. Members of Congressman Hultgren’s Higher Education Advisory Committee (HEAC), whose community colleges service the 14th District, have stressed the importance of these programs to student success.
“The jobs of today are vastly different from those of previous generations. Ensuring future employees and adults reentering the workforce understand and are prepared for the demands of an ever-evolving labor market is key to connecting them to the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Rep. Hultgren. “Many times, jobs workers’ held previously no longer exist or require advanced training. Our community colleges excel at providing this type of education. This bill will ensure that career and technical education (CTE)—one of the best tools we have to reduce unemployment—can accurately target curriculum calibrated with the needs of the job market.
“Further, those without resources need continued access to the successful and popular Perkins Loan Program which has provided funds to more than eight million students. These finances help secure the possibility of upward mobility for hardworking individuals.”
The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) connects prospective employees and those re-entering the workforce with rewarding technical jobs by using local community colleges as training centers. The bill:
- Empowers state and local community leaders by simplifying the application process for receiving federal funds and providing more flexibility to use federal resources to respond to changing education and economic needs.
- Improves alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships and encouraging stronger engagement with employers.
- Increases transparency and accountability by streamlining performance measures to ensure CTE programs deliver results, empowering parents, students and stakeholders with a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of local programs.
- Ensures a limited federal role by reining in the Secretary of Education’s authority, limiting federal intervention and preventing political favoritism.
The Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2017 (H.R. 2482) ensures low-income students have access to the financial tools necessary to take advantage of higher education opportunities.