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Rubio bill calls for more feds without traditional higher education

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has proposed a bill that would encourage federal agencies to hire more job applicants who were trained or educated outside the traditional network of colleges and universities.

The measure, called the Alternative Qualifications for Federal Employment Act, would establish a pilot program in which the Office of Personnel Management would designate certain positions to be filled by workers with alternative higher-education credentials.

“Today there are an infinite number of ways for people to learn and master trades, including many low-cost online opportunities,” Rubio said in a statement Wednesday. He added that the current accreditation system is broken because it “favors established institutions while blocking out the new providers that are more affordable and accessible to many Americans.”

The pilot program would apply to at least 25 positions in 10 occupational fields for each of the next five years.

Rubio said the impacts of the pilot program could reach beyond the federal government, creating private-sector confidence in workers with alternative forms of training and education. “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,” he said.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail atjosh.hicks@washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics for more federal news. E-mail with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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