Glenn DuBois Calls on Congress “To Expand the Usage of Pell Grants for High-Quality, Non-Credit Workforce Training Programs”

In Testimony Before Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee, Dr. DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges and Founding Board Member of Rebuilding America’s Middle Class (RAMC), Says Move Would be “The Biggest Difference-Maker” for Students

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WASHINGTON, May 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Calling himself “proof positive that community colleges are engines of economic mobility,” Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges and founding board member of Rebuilding America’s Middle Class (RAMC), today called on Congress to extend Pell Grant eligibility to include the workforce training programs that community colleges are increasingly offering with great impact to today’s generation of students.

In testimony before the Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Education and Labor Committee, Dr. DuBois said, “The biggest difference-maker we could work together on to expand the role community college play as engines of economic mobility is to expand the usage of Pell Grants for high-quality, non-credit workforce training programs.”  In doing so, Dr. DuBois said this expanded usage of Pell Grants is “the biggest priority of the RAMC group.”

Dr. DuBois added: “For the same reasons that the federal government invests in those pursuing traditional academic degrees, we should invest in those pursuing high-quality, stackable, post-secondary workforce credentials, and unleash a powerful engine of economic mobility.”

In making his call to extend Pell Grants to include workforce training programs, Dr. DuBois referenced the Virginia community college system’s FastForward program, which is filling critical needs in Virginia’s workforce.  In nearly three years, this highly accountable program has put more than 13,300 high-demand credentials into the Virginia economy.

“Should Pell Grants be extended to these students, I would suggest you do so with a solid system of accountability that includes program completion data and income gains for program graduates – just like we’ve established in Virginia to ensure we’re meeting the (FastForward) program’s promise,” said Dr. DuBois.

Dr. DuBois, whose first post-secondary degree was from a community college in upstate New York, is the latest leader of a RAMC member institution to testify before Congress on higher education matters.  On March 27, 2019, Mark Hays, vice chancellor for workforce and economic development for the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) appeared before the Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee to describe the expansion of apprenticeships in North Texas.

ABOUT RAMC: Rebuilding America’s Middle Class (RAMC) is a coalition of community colleges and community college systems dedicated to affordability, access and student success.  Dr. Joe May, chancellor of DCCCD, serves as president of RAMC.

Jim Boyle