By Dave Diepenbrock
Colorado government released a report this summer that may help us evaluate the upcoming Obama jobs speech.
First, some background. Anthony Mirhaydari from MSN Money said:
“Obama also selected Alan Krueger, a Princeton labor economist and one of the architects of the Cash for Clunkers auto rebate program, as the new head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. An expert on the problem of long-term unemployment, Krueger may push worker training subsidies as a solution to the problem of long-term unemployment, something I discussed in a recent column.”
If job training appears in Obama’s speech, we may be able to wager on such a program’s effectiveness or ineffectiveness based on a green jobs report prepared by the Colorado Department of Labor and CU’s Business Research Division. It’s available here (H/T: Peoples Press Collective).
On page 19 of the report, 15.6% of survey respondents ranked “training programs” for their workers as factoring into business expansion plans. Only “public marketing” scored lower! So, at least for green jobs, government-sponsored training programs don’t seem to matter all that much.
(I admit that’s too bad. Germany in recent years has used its apprenticeship programs to boost global competitiveness and retain jobs in this world wide economic slowdown. But it just may be that our educational system and Germany’s are enough different that worker training isn’t a broad factor in our country.)
So, what we have is a new economic advisor for Obama who pushed “cash for clunkers” which did zip for the long term auto industry in America and, as USA Today reported, measurably raised the cost of used cars for ordinary American families who can’t afford to buy a brand-new car. And now, perhaps, Obama will follow this same pied piper down the road of government spending for job training that isn’t much valued by American businesses.
Just what we need: billions spent on programs that don’t solve our jobs problems. And, remember, this evaluation of one possible component of an Obama jobs plan isn’t being bashed by some right-wing crazies; it’s a business evaluation of this idea researched and publicized by a Democratic Governor’s people here in Colorado.