Wednesday, June 30, 2010

75% of No Worker Left Behind Graduates Are on the Job, So Let's Cut Funding

UPDATE: KBH at the AP has an excellent story on this, as well as the numbers on how many Michigan residents will be cut off from unemployment benefits soon - and what that will mean to the state.

Bang your head on the keyboard kind of stuff. First, the good news. Of the 57,855 people who have completed training with the No Worker Left Behind program, 75% of those workers have obtained or retained employment. A huge number, given the hiring climate out there during the Aug 2007 - Dec 2009 time frame.

A new report completed by the Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG) shows that 57,855 No Worker Left Behind (NWLB) participants completed training, and of those who completed training, 75 percent have either obtained or retained jobs. Additionally, 59 percent of NWLB's core participants - those workers who are unemployed and underemployed when they entered the NWLB program - found new jobs despite double-digit unemployment rates across the state, an 11 percent increase from the last reporting period.

Go read the whole thing at DELEG. Smashing success. 131,833 total enrollment as of June 1st, more on waiting lists. Tens of thousands of people with jobs, people who otherwise might have been on unemployment or other services, thousands more that are in training now, and will gain employment when they complete the program... well...

You know how the Republicans love to talk about how we have to "cut spending"? Yeah, that means you, unemployed person who wants training so you can go to work and keep your house and feed your family. You're "spending".

Michigan's worker retraining program will limit its new enrollment starting Thursday following a 39 percent cut in federal work force dollars, which pays for a significant portion of the popular No Worker Left Behind program.

Students in training will be allowed to finish their program and the 20,000 on the waiting list will be allowed to enroll. The total enrollment will remain around 60,000 annually, but the majority of people in training will be those in school rather than new enrollees, the state's work force chief, Andy Levin, said today at Lansing Community College.

Oh, and to all those businesses out there that were looking for a trained workforce? You're "spending" too. Guess you can foot the bill to educate people if you want trained staff. Too bad for you.

Republicans. Bad for people, bad for business. Say it often, because it's true.

Here's hoping Congressional Dems will fight for this. If they don't, you really have to start to question whether they want to see economic recovery or not. Lowering the unemployment rate is the goal - and a program like this is a key to that end. To cut something so successful, that helps people and business alike, is a tragedy.