Trone pushes US House to allow payment of workforce training programs in Pell Grant money

22 February 2024- Today, Congressman David Trone (D-MD), member of the Congressional Labor Caucus, released a statement urging the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Workforce Pell Act, of which he is a co-sponsor. The legislation, spearheaded by Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, would allow students to pay for eligible workforce training programs using Pell Grants.

Currently, students are ineligible to use Pell Grants to pay for short-term training programs, denying many of them access to good-paying jobs and long-lasting careers. Not only does this hurt our students and workers, but also employers searching for a skilled workforce. Although President Biden has added an unprecedented 14.8 million jobs to our nation’s economy, it’s estimated that there are about 9 million job openings across the country due to a lack of qualified applicants. 

“Pell Grants are designed to give Americans from lower-income families a better chance at building promising, reliable, and good-paying careers, so expanding workforce training under this program is just common sense,” said Congressman David Trone. “Whether someone intends to earn a four-year degree or complete a welding course, both show a commitment to increased education and pave a path toward gaining the skills necessary to enter the workforce. It’s time that we made it easier for America’s workers to access the job training that will make our country’s economy and workforce more competitive. I strongly urge my congressional colleagues to pass this legislation into law.”

Trone has long been a supporter of expanding Pell Grants to more Americans in need. In 2020, his bill, the Expanding Educational Opportunities for Justice-Impacted Communities Act, was signed into law. The legislation repealed the 26-year ban on Pell Grants for incarcerated students and the loss of federal financial aid eligibility for those convicted of drug offenses.