- About NSC
- Skills Mismatch
In today’s economy, 80 percent of jobs require some form of postsecondary education and training, yet students, especially nontraditional students, often face barriers to higher education due to a lack of vital support services—including basic skills instruction, transportation and childcare and comprehensive career counseling.
To help meet the needs of these students, community and technical colleges along with their industry partners have been working to establish and strengthen career pathways—21st century learning models that combine support services with academic instruction. NSC has long supported investing in postsecondary career pathways and have highlighted them as part of our Skills for Good Jobs Agenda. Additionally, 10 state higher education systems have endorsed increasing federal funding for career pathways and recent polling shows that 81 percent of Americans are in favor of government funding for support services that will help students finish skills training programs.
Despite the value of career pathways, there is a lack of targeted federal funding to help sustain and strengthen them. As a solution, Senators Hassan (D-NH), Young (R-IN), Kaine (D-VA) and Gardner (R-CO) re-introduced the Gateway to Careers Act—a bipartisan bill first introduced in 2018 that makes grant funding available on a competitive basis to institutions that are working in partnership with industry stakeholders, community-based organizations and other entities to better serve students experiencing barriers to postsecondary access and completion.
More specifically, the Gateway to Careers Act would authorize a new grant program in the Higher Education Act entitled the “Career Pathways Grant Program,” for distribution to eligible career pathway partnerships. As defined by the legislation, career pathway partnerships can consist of:
Career pathway partnerships would be able to use this grant funding for:
Additionally, partnerships receiving grant funding would responsible for reporting their program outcomes to the Secretary of Education on a yearly basis.
NSC applauds Senators Hassan, Young, Kaine, and Gardner for making career pathways a priority and encourage Congress to consider the inclusion of the Gateway to Careers Act in any Higher Education reauthorization bill.