[The country must] put equity at center of recovery efforts.

JFF CEO Maria Flynn in “Investing in Skills Training for Economic Security”

Published apr. 20, 2021

A recent article in Community College Daily highlighted JFF CEO Maria Flynn’s testimony at a hearing of the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on April 20.

The hearing focused on helping workers displaced during the COVID-driven recession but also looked at long-term strategies for providing the education and training opportunities people will need to remain competitive in our ever-evolving economy.

Community College Daily reported that Flynn told the panel that the country must “put equity at center of recovery efforts” and offered a series of recommendations for making that goal a reality.

Specifically, she called on Congress to expand Pell Grants to cover short-term programs that lead to high-quality credentials, increase investments in programs authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, modernize the country’s workforce development system, and build a robust career navigation system.

Regarding the workforce development system, Community College Daily reported that Flynn told the committee that “the entire workforce ecosystem needs significant modernization” because currently its “limited resources are spread too thin [and] performance across the more than 500 local workforce areas varies.” She also told the panel that America’s workers need a state-of-the-art career navigation system that they can use to make well-informed decisions about their education and employment pathways.