Thursday, May 12, 2011

Old-Fashioned Skills Training

"It will probably require a broad menu of policies attacking the problem all at once: expanding community colleges and online learning; changing the corporate tax code and labor market rules to stimulate investment; adopting German-style labor market practices like apprenticeship programs, wage subsidies and programs that extend benefits to the unemployed for six months as they start small businesses."

David Brooks, "The Missing Fifth," The New York Times, May 9, 2011

It's a big deal for a somewhat conservative commentator to evoke "German-style apprenticeships" as a part of the answer to declining employment rates for males in the U.S. I wonder when he will discover Denmark.

"We fund scholarships for students at community colleges and in other vocational programs...The people for whom we provide support are not those who intend to transfer to four-year universities. Rather, we are funding scholarships for those students who intend to enter a career immediately upon completion of their studies."

"Interview with Andrew Grove : The Angry Philanthopist." Philanthopy Magazine, April 1, 2011.

On a more sobering note, I was surprising (and maybe I shouldn't have been) the low completion rates of building trade's apprenticeships for people of color. How many of us thought that getting in was the tough part? And this existed before recession.

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