HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY) -- US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced new legislation on Monday, aimed at providing more training to low-income and working students.
"Let's say you have someone working at your local manufacturer and they realize they can get a better paying job if they take a training course at the local community college," says Gillibrand. "This would now make them eligible to take a six week course, maybe at night, to give them the skills they need to get a better job."
The JOBS Act would expand the eligibility for a Pell Grant--which covers the costs of short-term job training.
Currently, the grant requires a training program to be more than 600 hours over eight weeks to be eligble. The proposal would reduce that number to at least one-hundred and fifty hours.
"It would be helpful for part time workers [and] low income workers who could not afford the skill training they need to get a better job," says Gillibrand.
Gillibrand's office estimates there's nearly 5.8 million vacant jobs across the US. That is partially due to a shortage of qualified workers.
"If they take a computer course of a cyber course or an advanced manufacturing course, they will now be able to run the machinery that runs the automation," says Gillibrand. "That would be the type of immediate job training that would be necessary to get the next job that's available."
Aside from manufacturing, the bill expands to training in healthcare, cyber security and computer jobs.
Participating programs would work with colleges and local employers to ensure students receive the exact training needed.