PLEDGE NOW
Do Job Retraining Programs Work?

Job retraining programs have bipartisan support.  But do they work?  And is anyone keeping track?

Shannon Swift uses a feeler gauge to set the gap on the rollers of the preimpregnated web machine at Renegade Materials in Springboro, Ohio on Tuesday, August 11, 2009. Swift lost his job at a local GM plant, and Third Frontier money was used to retrain him for 6 months on his new job, which involves making lightweight composite fibers for the aerospace industry. (AP)

Shannon Swift uses a feeler gauge to set the gap on the rollers of the preimpregnated web machine at Renegade Materials in Springboro, Ohio on Tuesday, August 11, 2009. Swift lost his job at a local GM plant, and Third Frontier money was used to retrain him for 6 months on his new job, which involves making lightweight composite fibers for the aerospace industry. (AP)

Every time a wave of jobs is lost – and we’ve lost plenty lately – American leaders stand up and talk about retraining.  Don’t worry, retrain.  And Congress throws a bunch of money at retraining programs.  For health care jobs, green energy jobs.  Up and at ‘em, America.  Get going.  Retool.  Retrain.

Well, how’s all that retraining going?  Are we boning up on the right stuff?  Are we finding those jobs?  Is it working?  There’s a lot hanging on the answer.

This hour, On Point:  job retraining in a jobless time.  We’re spending a lot to do it.  Is it working?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ianthe Jeanne Dugan, senior staff writer at the Wall Street Journal.

Carl Van Horn, professor of public policy and director of the Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

Rick Stine, formerly a senior engineer at Pitney Bowes, was laid off three years ago. He went through training at the WorkPlace — a federally funded program under the Workforce Investment Act.  Now he works as a quality engineer at Bead Industries, a small business equipment company.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal “The Obama administration has been promoting the retraining of unemployed workers as a linchpin of its economic-recovery plan. The federal government spent about $18 billion on training and job-search programs, running 47 separate programs offering training, in the year ended September 2009, the most recent tally by the Government Accountability Office. And that doesn’t include some state and local programs that use federal funding to train workers.”

The Times Weekly “Sixteen one-year grants are being made to 15 national nonprofit organizations through the program’s general funds or funds set aside by statute to serve Native Americans or Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. The grants will support more than 35,000 positions. In addition, state and territorial grantees that previously received funding through this program will continue to support more than 10,000 positions.”

Slate “While the recession reduced incomes and increased unemployment across all socioeconomic groups, the poor have been hit harder than anyone else. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the bottom 20 percent of American families earned less in 2010 than they did in 2006, the year before the recession began. Every other income quintile is at least back at where they started, or even a little ahead. For the bottom quintile, this is just the most recent setback in a series of them: Their share of America’s economic pie has been shrinking for decades.”

 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 28, 2015
Protesters congregate in front of city hall Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Cleveland. Members of about 40 churches are protesting the acquittal of a white patrolman charged in the deaths of two unarmed black motorists with a march through downtown Cleveland. (AP)

The new Cleveland standard of American policing. Will it stop abuse? Will it get the job done?

May 28, 2015
Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi raises his hands as he sits behind glass in a courtroom, in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy in an eastern Cairo suburb, Egypt, Saturday, May 16, 2015. (AP)

Sentenced to death in Egypt for espionage, respected academic Emad Shahin joins us with a big take on Egypt, ISIS and America’s response.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 27, 2015
The logo from the new film, "(Dis)Honesty," which is also the logo for the Dishonesty Project. (The Dishonesty Project)

Are we natural born liars? Is it human to lie? Inside the new documentary, ” (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies.”

 
May 27, 2015
Two persons are reflected in the FIFA logo at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings into FIFA's awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, only hours after seven soccer officials were arrested Wednesday pending extradition to the U.S. in a separate probe of "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted" corruption. (AP)

Top officials at soccer’s international governing body FIFA arrested in Switzerland today on charges of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering and bribery. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
A Former Bike Gang Member Explains "The Life"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Larry called in from Lawrenceburg, KY and told us he was once a member of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, a mid-Atlantic biker gang. He didn’t sugar coat the facts as he explained the draw of the brotherhood and what makes the outlaw motorcycle corner the underworld go round.

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: May 15, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015

We cancel a few hours and suddenly all of you get convinced of a global radio conspiracy! Plus, dragon zoos.

More »
1 Comment
 
Caller: ‘It Doesn’t Always Turn Out Okay’
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One caller shares her own story of an extremely premature birth. Her daughter, born at 22 1/2 weeks in 2012, was taken off life support after seven days.

More »
Comment