Ways and Means Democrats Introduce 13 Bills Supporting Innovative Job Training Program
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee unveiled 13 bills to improve the Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) program, which supports education and training to low-income individuals to help them move into occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. In addition to today’s bills, Democrats plan to introduce legislation that will reauthorize the HPOG program before its current authorization expires on September 30, 2019.
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) said the following regarding the HPOG bills’ introduction:
“The HPOG program has a track record of success at helping struggling Americans get good jobs and addressing our country’s health worker shortage. Today’s bills not only lock in the most effective elements of current HPOGs, but they ensure that HPOGs will do even more to help Americans get quality health care and good jobs in the future. I’m grateful for the leadership of Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny Davis on this issue, and I applaud all of the members who introduced legislation to strengthen and improve this worthwhile program.”
HPOG stands out among other health profession training programs in a number of ways, including the mix of support services, career coaching, and job placement, provided concurrently as part of the training program, which is especially valuable for low-income parents. Early HPOG evaluation finds positive economic mobility outcomes for people who often experience multiple barriers to employment.
A full list of today’s bills is included below:
H.R. 3335, Territory Health Revitalization Act
Sponsor: Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA)
Summary: The bill would set aside five percent of total HPOG funding for grants to the territories, revise current law to make all U.S. territories eligible for grants, and guarantee at least two territorial grants.
H.R. 3336, Demonstrating that Empowerment Makes Opportunities (DEMO) Act
Sponsor: Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL)
Summary: Authorizes demonstration projects to test an HPOG/Career Pathways approach for helping individuals with arrest or conviction records enter the health professions, and provides $10 million for them.
H.R. 3337, Labor Market Response Act
Sponsor: Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
Summary: Requires all grant applicants to use publicly available labor market data to survey the local health care employment market, to ensure that they are training workers for in-demand jobs and those with a shortage of trained workers.
H.R. 3338, Essential Skills and Child Care for Health Professions Act
Sponsor: Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)
Summary: Requires grantees to provide support services like basic education, English-language proficiency, and child care, when needed.
H.R. 3339, Mentoring and Supporting Families Act
Sponsor: Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA)
Summary: Requires the HPOG grantee’s case management plan to offer a career coaching service as part of the plan, with an option also to provide high quality mentoring and peer support as needed to ensure success in this health care training program.
H.R. 3340, Tribal Healthcare Careers Act
Sponsor: Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA)
Summary: Builds on the current success of Tribal HPOG programs by guaranteeing funding for grants to tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal colleges and universities.
H.R. 3341, Opioid Treatment Providers Act
Sponsor: Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY)
Summary: Ensures that certain high-quality opioid treatment providers are considered an eligible entity to apply for, and receive grant funds from, this health career training program.
H.R. 3342, Health Providers Training Act
Sponsor: Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV)
Summary: Ensures that hospitals are considered an eligible entity to apply for, and receive grant funds from, this health career training program.
H.R. 3343, Technical Assistance for Health Grants Act
Sponsor: Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI)
Summary: Requires HHS to provide targeted technical assistance with grant applications, implementation, and outcome reporting, to ensure that all applicants have a fair chance to receive funding and grants are administered effectively. Provides $15 million for this purpose.
H.R. 3344, Opportunities to Support Mothers & Deliver Children Act
Sponsor: Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI)
Summary: Authorizes demonstration projects to test an HPOG/career pathways approach to training doulas, midwives, and other pregnancy and birth professions.
H.R. 3345, Making Opportunities Reachable for Everyone (MORE) Act
Sponsor: Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
Summary: Gives priority to HPOG grant applications that include partnerships among job training and education providers, state and local government, and unions and employers.
H.R. 3346, Health Opportunities to Promote Equity (HOPE) Act
Sponsor: Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
Summary: Guarantees that every state will have an HPOG program, so long as at least $250 million is provided for the overall program.
H.R. 3347, Rural Health Training Opportunities Act
Sponsor: Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)
Summary: Gives priority to applications that would train healthcare workers in rural communities, and requires grantees to ensure that participants have access to transportation.