Job Training: Is It Worth It?

Monday, August 09, 2010

Sheila Maguire, senior vice president of Program Effectiveness at Public/Private Ventures, a research group that works to improve policies and programs for low-income communities, discusses the effectiveness of job training and a new study on sector-based employment programs.


Sheila Maguire

Comments [23]

Our Competitors' COST of living is 10 % of ours. from NYC

Our competitors' COST (NOT standard)
of living is one tenth of ours. This means that if your SKILL does not require physical
presence - your jobs WILL be sent overseas in the longer term. Almost noone
can prove that they are ten times more efficient than other trained people in their field. Retraining is therefore mostly a feel-good MYTH.

People don't count as unemployed when retraining, so it buffs the numbers, but at the end of the day - they will most likely
find themselves unemployed again years
later but now with less recent job experience and more debt.

Mr. Lehrer - please do a show on the COST of living for middle class and professional people among our competitors (eg. mostly India and China).

In terms of retraining, the emphasis
should be ON THE JOB retraining -
eg. hiring the unemployed and retraining
them AT WORK. Nevertheless, in the
long term, the economics dictate that
if your job CAN be moved overseas,
it probably will. Almost noone can
compete with someone whose COST
of living is 1/10th theirs - even if they
are highly skilled.

Aug. 11 2010 06:26 PM
DTorres from Nathan Straus Projects

I work as a NYC civil service employee, since 1981.

In my place of business, brand new machines,
were wheeled in and should up and running
by September.

Those machines will replace about
100 people total, including myself.

It's time for E Arraignments.

Aug. 09 2010 03:43 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn

Hi, Brian, At this point I don’t know how to reinvent myself. I have been an author, an English and Spanish teacher, a translator and medical interpreter and I am still unemployed. I am also a skilled cook and baker. My questions are: Do I need a new occupation? What to be from now on so that I can get health insurance (I am badly in need of health insurance) and make a good income? Eugenia Renskoff

Aug. 09 2010 02:46 PM
Norman from NYC

>please follow up on IT guy's statement there are no IT jobs

This is a subject of constant discussion on Slashdot.

For example

Aug. 09 2010 12:04 PM

I am an actor with 7 years of university training, and have basically, always survived by being a bit of an odd jobber. I taught myself everything I'd need to know to be a wiater, then taught myself everything I'd need to know to be an office worker (classes in Excel, microsoft Word, etc) and as of the past 3 years I moved into group exercise and the fitness/wellness industry. I teach pilates mat mainly, and over the past 9 months I have had a real increase in people approaching me after my classes with their apprentice hours sheets for various mat certifications. This is coming from people with 'normal' jobs who are looking for extra ways to make money. Now there are more mat instructors that one can shake a stick at, so in order to continue to be competitive in my chosen parallel field, I am getting the rest of the equipment certification, though I am worried those skills won't be enough either. I am glad I have had to be resourceful as far as survival work, but now I am faced with competition from the non-arts community for the jobs that used to be mostly held by those who'd say: "well I do this for rent, but REALLY I'm a [dancer, actor, model, director, writer]." One can now sub the latter part of that statement with any number of other careerists. Any other artists no longer finding ease with non-career jobs?

Aug. 09 2010 11:40 AM
Jim Warwick from Port Washington, NY

Brian, welcome back. We have to look at this from a Macro scale - Sheila either has not understand this or does not believe in this approach - We have 'asset' jobs and 'deficit' jobs. Asset jobs are anything in manufacturing, a deficit job is a government job which we pay through our taxes. Both are needed, but we need MORE asset jobs. But Obama in his TARP plan spent almost $1 trillion in Deficit jobs with a loan to the auto companies. That not only does not help us, but it puts America more in the red as it costs us more money to maintain. Here we are one year later with the question to pay their salaries once again. One idea to create asset jobs would be to finance a search through the Patent office to help jump start the 300 thousand patent apps we have.

Aug. 09 2010 11:35 AM

please follow up on IT guy's statement there are no IT jobs

Aug. 09 2010 11:31 AM
The Truth from Becky

So these people get "re-trained" and do not get a job what? The mortgage companies don't take excuses as payments. It is not a quick fix, which is what most umemployed people need.

Aug. 09 2010 11:31 AM

Norman - Ah Now i have read it more carefully - the incident was in Germany?

Aug. 09 2010 11:29 AM
Jeff Pappas from Ct.

Hi Brian
Welcome back
I have a Masters in Fine Arts
If a position were available I could teach at the college level, However I could Not teach in a public school ( k - 12 ) !
Odd Hey

Aug. 09 2010 11:28 AM
Norman from NYC

That story I read about the German welder who was laid off and got training in advanced welding was in the New York Times, not the Wall Street Journal.

Aided by Safety Nets, Europe Resists Stimulus Push

My recollection was oversimplified. But Germans do get almost their previous salary when unemployed.

Aug. 09 2010 11:26 AM
aly from Brooklyn

Got my M.Arch (masters in Architecture) and have been out of work now for 3 not qualifty for unemployment because I just graduated and the job horizon doesnt look good for me. I am 140K in debt--so much for technical training....

Aug. 09 2010 11:26 AM
another version from somerset county nj

we have several master craftsmen working in our area of old victorian homes that needs specialized workers. the other day i asked the roofer (as he handcrafted each slate) why not come together with the other handful of craftsmen and form a loose gc association for homeowners? "can't grow," he said. he went on to explain that there are so few competent reliable workers that he downsized his company from 10 to 1 (himself). He further explained that the licensed workers would often show up drunk or not at all --- and often the illegal workers were competent and experienced, but completely transient, which interfered with providing any guarantee of work.

Aug. 09 2010 11:26 AM
Mike C. from Tribeca

Speaking of teacher cutbacks, that was going on even during the so-called "economic good times." The right wing's long-term program to decimate the government continues apace.

Aug. 09 2010 11:23 AM
Norman from NYC

This woman sounds like she knows what she's talking about, and doing a good job, but the economic problem is overwhelming.

We already have well-trained people getting laid off.

Aug. 09 2010 11:18 AM

Norman - was he paid JUST the same? I don't see how that's possible as the maximum payment is only $408 a week.

Aug. 09 2010 11:18 AM
David from LI

UJA has a great project called Connect-to-Care. Know one person, Abe, a senior electrical engineer who got help from NY State and attended NYU for retraining in environmental engineering (green, etc.); got the certificate and is now an executive with a company specializing in green engineering.

Most others I know have not been as successful

Aug. 09 2010 11:17 AM
Norman from NYC

What about the German job training programs? They're supposed to be some of the best in the world.

I read a story in the Wall Street Journal about a welder who was laid off, who got unemployment insurance that paid almost his full income, while he was trained for advanced welding.

When the economy bounces back, he'll be well trained and ahead of where he left off.

Aug. 09 2010 11:16 AM

what are the hot jobs?

Aug. 09 2010 11:16 AM

I went through retraining: law school. Now I'm unemployable and 40K in debt.

Aug. 09 2010 11:14 AM

I think its investment bankers and financiers who need job training, and that training needs to be in ethics and moral philosophy... whatever might help change the I'll-be-gone-you'll-be-gone, lack of social conscience culture in which they are immersed.

Aug. 09 2010 11:07 AM
Norman from NYC

I read the executive summary and skimmed that report. (It's hard to read a big document online.) I couldn't find out:

1. They were making $4,000 more a year. But how much did the training program cost?

2. Exactly what were they trained for?

The report raised a good question of whether the programs could be scaled up.

Just because they could find jobs for a small group of people in Boston, that doesn't mean you can train as many people as you want and find them all jobs.

Aug. 09 2010 11:04 AM

chuckled back in 2002 when bush proposed job training for middle class americans who were displaced by outsourced chinese/indian labor. training: step one: get rid of credit cards. step two: eat mostly rice.
was there really supposed to be another step? perhaps there is a more positive strategy for low-income communities.

Aug. 09 2010 10:07 AM

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