Hagerty, Sinema Introduce Chance to Compete Act

January 13, 2022

Legislation seeks to build upon Trump-era executive order that requires federal agencies to prioritize hiring based on skills rather than college degrees

WASHINGTON—United States Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have introduced the Chance to Compete Act, which would require federal agencies to focus hiring practices on the skills job seekers possess rather than whether and where they earned a college degree.

The legislation redefines “examinations” to include knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies while constraining the use of education when determining if an individual is qualified. It also requires federal agencies to review and update antiquated federal job qualification standards and candidate assessments.

“For too long, the federal government’s hiring priorities have focused on college degrees and institutions instead of if the individual is actually qualified,” said Senator Hagerty. “Federal workers should be hired based on skills, not just if they have a degree. I’m pleased to have Senator Sinema’s partnership as we seek to modernize our federal workforce, which taxpayers depend on.”

“We’re making federal hiring more efficient and the federal government more effective by removing barriers and expanding opportunities for skilled Arizonans who have the knowledge and experience to work in the federal government, even if they don’t have a traditional college degree,” said Senator Sinema, Chair of the Senate’s Government Operations Subcommittee.

The Hagerty-Sinema legislation would build upon a Trump-era executive order titled Reforming and Modernizing the Federal Hiring Process.

In addition to removing the unnecessary degree requirements that exclude otherwise qualified Americans from Federal employment, this bill implements best practices already adopted by the private sector and will allow talented individuals who pursue apprenticeships, have technical training and applicable background experiences to purse federal civil service.