Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Conflicting News

"Hundreds of thousands of Americans have enrolled in federally financed training programs in recent years, only to remain out of work. That has intensified skepticism about training as a cure for unemployment."

Peter S. Goodman, "After Training, Still Scrambling for Employment," The New York Times, July 19, 2010.

It's amazing what different people will read into this article -- bad news in the economy, false promises of employment and training, model programs, jobs in specific sectors, bad data, big investments, misplaced optimism. You get it all -- and the article's mostly about dislocated workers. Not much said about younger workers who are having trouble getting an initial foothold in the economy.

Unfortunately, all of the above are true to some degree. Training cannot solve a down economy -- but skilled workers are needed for new industries and occupations. Training has to be more targeted than ever.

On the other hand, go get that postsecondary credential: "...[By] 2018...we will need at least 4.7 million new workers with postsecondary education."

Anthony Carnevale,Nicole Smith, and jeff Strohl, Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018, Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, June 2010.

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