Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced the Alternative Qualifications for Federal Employment Act, a bill that will encourage federal agencies to hire individuals who have obtained education and training from alternative providers rather than a traditional college or university. This pilot program would apply to certain pre-determined agency positions and would take place over a five-year period. The results of the study would be tracked and reported back to Congress to form the basis for future policy.
In introducing this legislation, Rubio issued the following statement:
“Today there are an infinite number of ways for people to learn and master trades, including many low-cost online opportunities. Unfortunately, our current higher education model is based on a broken accreditation system that favors established institutions while blocking out the new providers that are more affordable and accessible to many Americans.
“Combined with stringent hiring requirements in many professions, this has created a barrier to entry into the workforce for those who received their education from an unaccredited, alternative provider. By creating a federal pilot program to test the employment of these individuals, I believe we will find that the source of an employee’s education is far less important than some previously thought.
“Those who have the skills and aptitude to be successful in a job deserve the opportunity to be considered for employment, even if they learned the trade from a non-traditional source. This pilot program will likely make that possible by creating private sector confidence in the hiring of these individuals.”