Washington, D.C. — Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) has sponsored the Federal Skills Act. The bill would modernize the federal hiring process to prioritize skills instead of simply university degrees.
The lead Senate sponsor of the bill is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Senator Budd was the lead sponsor of the Federal Skills Act in 2021, when he was a member of the House.
Sen. Budd said in a statement:
“The federal government should be opening its doors to candidates with the skills required for the job, not simply an expensive college degree. This bill is about providing an opportunity for a more diverse cross-section of Americans to join the civil service.”
Sen. Rubio said:
“For far too long, we have used the completion of a traditional four-year college degree to determine whether someone is qualified or not for a job. This arbitrary requirement prevents the federal government from hiring otherwise qualified workers, including many Americans from low-income backgrounds. This is a common-sense change that is already happening in the private sector and in state governments across the country.”
This legislation would modernize civil service hiring processes in the following ways:
1. The Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), in consultation with the heads of all agencies, will need to review and revise all job classification and qualification standards for positions within the competitive service.
2. The Director of OPM and the heads of all agencies will ensure that, for positions within the competitive Federal service, candidates will not be assessed solely on educational attainment when determining if a candidate possesses the relevant knowledge, skills, competencies, and abilities for a position.
3. Job listings will need to be based on the specific skills and competencies required to perform the job.
4. An agency may implement a minimum educational requirement for a Federal competitive service position provided such an education is legally required for the employee to perform the duties of the position.