An Act Relative to Breaking Generational Cycles of Poverty

Summary

This legislation uses higher education as a pathway to economic opportunity by working to transition people off of public assistance and into jobs with career ladders. The bill targets people on TAFDC/welfare who have GEDs and are eligible to enroll in a community college program. The proposal provides funding for (1) a coordinator at each community college to work directly with TAFDC recipients in order to help the student develop career plans, identify a program of study, access financial aid as well as obtain other supports such as childcare and transportation assistance; and 2) work study jobs that would not count against TAFDC eligibility. Participating individuals would need to be enrolled in a full-time, degree- or certificate-bearing program at a community college, and remain on track to graduate in the regular duration of a full-time student to qualify for the work-study funds. Upon graduation from these certificate- and degree-bearing tracks, these students would be qualified to work in areas such as manufacturing, health care, engineering, life sciences, computing, and business.  The proposal would cost $2.35 million and would benefit up to 180 students per year.