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Training Programs

MI: Job Retraining Efforts Sputter

More than two years after Gov. Jennifer Granholm launched what may be the most ambitious job retraining program in Michigan history, 16,164 workers have found new jobs but nearly twice that many either dropped out or are still unable to find work.

The more-than-$500 million No Worker Left Behind program may be well-intentioned and well-designed, but with Michigan leading the nation in unemployment for most of the past four years, success has been limited.

Saving Jobs: More Federal Action Needed on State Fiscal Relief

Last month, President Barack Obama signed the $17.5 billion Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act into law to assist small businesses and spur job creation.  This was definitely a start, but the gravity of the current crisis demands much bolder and quicker action.  Congress needs to enact further state fiscal relief to support jobs and avoid the massive layoffs that threaten social and economic vitality in the states.

Washington State Legislature Passes Legislation Aimed at Increasing both Access and Adoption of Broadband

With the passage of  HB 1701 the Washington State legislature once again demonstrated its understandingthat when combating the digital divide states must not just addressaccess issues, but must also focus on dealing with the barriers to broadband adoption by individuals.

Averting Layoffs and Revitalizing the Manufacturing Economy: Lessons from the Great Lakes States

As the country enters into a recession and suffers increasing job losses, the Great Lakes Region is facing a particularly acute crisis. Literally millions of decent-paying manufacturing jobs have disappeared from the region in recent years.  How regional political leaders are responding to that crisis provides lessons for state policymakers across the country.

Green Jobs Corps in Oakland, CA

Oakland's City Council unanimously approved allocating $250,000 as seed money to create the nation's first Green Jobs Corps. Oakland's Green Jobs Corp will provide complete job training for residents that have had barriers to employment. The job training includes case managements skills and vocational training in areas such as bio-fuels manufacturing and solar panel installation. Participants in the program finish with paid internships in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. 

Union Construction Jobs offer a Way out of Gang Life

With nearly 650,000 people released from state and federal prison every year, programs need to be available to support reentry into society.  Faced with a shortage of members, the building-trades unions of California have begun recruiting for apprenticeship programs in communities of color where many young men have criminal pasts.