BOSTON — Senator Eric P. Lesser voted on Wednesday to pass legislation expanding the Community College Training Incentive Program, which offers grants to community college students.
The bill, S. 2297, broadens the course eligibility requirements for grant recipients, permitting the Program to include and consider for-credit technical vocational instruction as an eligible metric for receiving a grant.
“Training our young people for the jobs of the future is about protecting our communities’ economic security. We should be encouraging more, not less, vocational training, and this bill makes that point by expanding the eligibility for community college student grants to include more vocational education options,” said Sen. Lesser, who serves as Chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.
Senator Lesser is an advocate of vocational education. At the beginning of the legislative session, he filed a bill, S. 276, directing the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to conduct a study of the availability of vocational education programs in the Commonwealth and outline what it would take to establish programs in communities where vocational education is deemed inadequate.
“While the Commonwealth laudably helps not-for-credit students obtain job-related skills, no sound policy rationale exists for making a course for a biotechnology technician degree ineligible for a training incentive grant,” said Sen. Eileen Donoghue of Lowell, who introduced the bill. “Given the need to increase our talent pipeline, my legislation improves the status quo by expanding the program to include for-credit courses so that community colleges can more effectively educate our future workforce.”
The bill now goes to the State House of Representatives for its consideration.