On May 6, Bloom Bakery was buzzing with energy. Community-based workforce development organizations, youth participants and employers gathered to share experiences and ideas to strengthen credential training programs in Northeast Ohio. U.S. Sen. Rob Portman joined the conversation to champion the Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act, legislation he introduced with U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.

Currently, the federal Pell Grant program can be used only to offset the cost of programs spanning more than 600 hours or at least 15 weeks in length, leaving short-term programs that provide high-quality skills training ineligible for funding. In tandem with Congress’ efforts to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, the JOBS Act makes Pell Grants accessible for individuals participating in short-term occupational training programs that

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