The America COMPETES Act Offers Key Opportunities for Learners and Workers

Published feb. 08, 2022

JFF applauds the passage of The America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength Act of 2022 (America COMPETES Act) by the House of Representatives. This bill focuses on ensuring that the United States remains a competitive engine of innovation in the global economy, and it includes funding and initiatives to boost research and development efforts and address critical supply chain challenges. COMPETES also promotes training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

JFF is delighted that the final bill includes provisions from the Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students Act (JOBS) and the College Transparency Act (CTA), which were added through a bipartisan amendment introduced by House Democrats Andy Levin and Raja Krishnamoorthi and House Republicans Anthony Gonzalez and Bryan Steil. These provisions, if enacted, will make it possible for people to use Pell grants for short-term credential programs that are of high quality and hold value in the labor market. The provisions would also overturn the ban on student-level data collection in the Higher Education Act, thus allowing students, jobseekers, and workers to access transparent and accurate data on the quality of postsecondary programs, which will enable them to make informed choices about their postsecondary and career options. These policies are more important than ever as our nation works to recover from the ongoing pandemic and faces a turbulent economy.

JFF urges the Senate to include the JOBS Act and CTA provisions in the final COMPETES legislation. Jobseekers and workers need these skill development options and access to quality information to prepare for in-demand jobs and advance in today’s economy.