Can Job Training Reduce Unemployment? (City Limits)

With unemployment still through the roof, are job training programs just preparing people for jobs that don’t exist?

As the economy threatens to sink into a double-dip recession, pressure is growing for federal, state, and local governments to do something about the 16 million Americans who remain out of work. One solution popular with politicians of all stripes—and with both business and labor groups—has been job training programs to close the gap between employers’ needs and workers’ skills.

“Even though a lot of folks are looking for work, there are a lot of companies that are actually also looking for skilled workers; there’s a mismatch that we can close,” President Obama said in June in presenting a community college program to teach manufacturing skills. Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg has launched a series of job training initiatives, most recently as part of his new Young Men’s Initiative to aid black and Latino teens—a cause to which he gave $30 million of his own pocket money… [read more]