Obama’s job-training program model in Georgia “nearly bankrupt”

posted at 1:25 pm on September 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Last night, Barack Obama urged Congress to “pass this jobs bill” quickly more than a dozen times in his speech to the joint session of Congress, because America couldn’t wait for the legislators to debate the merits of his proposal.  Perhaps we can’t afford not to debate them, as Reuters pointed out shortly after the speech.  One central program in Obama’s proposal will be built on the model used by Georgia for worker retraining, a program Obama heralded as a success:

We have to do more to help the long-term unemployed in their search for work.  This jobs plan builds on a program in Georgia that several Republican leaders have highlighted, where people who collect unemployment insurance participate in temporary work as a way to build their skills while they look for a permanent job.

Perhaps the White House should have actually talked with the people running the Georgia Work$ program.  Reuters’ Matthew Bigg made the effort — and discovered that even in Georgia, the program is seen as a flop.  And for good reason:

A jobs program in the Southern state of Georgia, cited in President Barack Obama’s plan to fight unemployment, needs big fixes and would not work as a federal initiative, says the official who runs it. …

Georgia Work$ is being restructured to overcome significant flaws. Even within the state, it is seen as “not a marquee program,” said state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, the Republican elected official who oversees it.

More than 30,000 people benefited from the program in the past, but in its current form, Georgia Work$ is tiny. Only 12 unemployed people signed up in August and 92 have done so since February, according to state Department of Labor statistics.

It’s not as if Georgia doesn’t have unemployed workers, either.  Their unemployment rate runs above the national average (10.1%), and those workers mainly come from industries where retraining would appear to be a good idea — construction, manufacturing, and finance.  Despite the large number of workers who should benefit from Georgia Work$, the fact that only 92 people applied for entry in 2011 gives a pretty solid indication that, at best, this is not a program ready to be federalized.

Even when it was in full force, the success rate of the program was poor:

Between March 2003 and July 2011, employers accepted some 32,000 participants into training.

Of those, some 24 percent who completed training were hired, officials said, although they acknowledged the program’s statistics needed to be improved. There are no figures on long-term job retention and state administrative costs have not been tallied.

Bear in mind that the program covered one of the best periods of employment in this nation’s history.  Even then, only a quarter of  pretrained program participants could land a job with the firms that trained them for free, when jobs were plentiful.  In an environment where jobs are nonexistent, not only will such a program waste the time of the applicants, firms won’t bother spending resources on training people for jobs that they don’t plan to open.

If this is the best Obama can do in the 30 months he had between Porkulus and Porkulus II, it’s a great argument for the 2012 election … for Republicans.

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Pretty much like the rest of the country…

PatriotRider on September 9, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Well, at least he got bin Laden!

John the Libertarian on September 9, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Why would you go into a job training program when you get years of unemployment insurance for doing nothing at all?

Incentive!

WitchDoctor on September 9, 2011 at 1:30 PM

In an environment where jobs are nonexistent, not only will such a program waste the time of the applicants, firms won’t bother spending resources on training people for jobs that they don’t plan to open.

Never confuse Dear Liar with the facts.

rbj on September 9, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Well, at least he got bin Laden!

John the Libertarian on September 9, 2011 at 1:28

PM

No evidence of that…

PatriotRider on September 9, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Is this the part where I act surprised, because I can recreate the surprised act I used when I found out Solyndra died.

Bishop on September 9, 2011 at 1:31 PM

When I lose a job, the first thing I think of is “where can I get some of that gooood gub’mint job training?”

Cicero43 on September 9, 2011 at 1:31 PM

If this is the best Obama can do in the 30 months he had between Porkulus and Porkulus II, it’s a great argument for the 2012 election … for Republicans

are you listening gop candidates?

wow, he probably touted it again at his rally in VA…

cmsinaz on September 9, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Probably run by former ACORN workers…

PatriotRider on September 9, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Howabout repealing minimum wage laws to promote job training? Let me hire someone on the cheap and if they can learn the trade, they will earn more.

WashJeff on September 9, 2011 at 1:32 PM

The Obama touch – everything turns to …..

Chip on September 9, 2011 at 1:32 PM

All of these job training organizations are simply minority staffing opportunities.

Go into any of these offices and it’s 98% African American. All the contractors that are hired to train are African American or Latino. The weatherization programs are all staffed by African Americans and the contrators hired to go out to homes are African American.

Anyone who doesn’t see that almost all these Federal jobs “training” programs and Federal initiatives are simply minority hiring programs, is delusional.

The Federal Government itself is a welfare program.

rickyricardo on September 9, 2011 at 1:32 PM

WitchDoctor on September 9, 2011 at 1:30 PM

agree

and he wants to add another YEAR of unemployment bennies….

epic fail all around

cmsinaz on September 9, 2011 at 1:33 PM

I hate to tell you this, Mr. President, but a group of young men from here in Georgia will be kicking your favorite team’s collective butts in Soldier Field this Sunday.

radjah shelduck on September 9, 2011 at 1:34 PM

If Obama cared about jobs, he’d put people to work changing this country from an energy importer to an energy exporter which, at the same, puts more money in everybody’s pocket by lowering the amount everyone pays at the gas pump. This, in turn, lowers the costs of producing/shipping goods to stores which saves everbody money on all the stuff they buy, not to mention the price to produce food. Wow!

And to think all the geniuses in the Obama Administration can’t make those simple connections.

Mahdi on September 9, 2011 at 1:34 PM

How bout the entire nation starts mandatory monthly drug screens for all welfare and public assistance recipients?

That’d be a job booster on the private side (clinics) and could probably help bring our deficits down.

Key West Reader on September 9, 2011 at 1:37 PM

More of the same. *SIGH*

capejasmine on September 9, 2011 at 1:41 PM

You sued us for enforcing our immigration laws and now you want to parade around for some stupid program you started here. You can shove it!

Georgia does not need Obama.

RDE2010 on September 9, 2011 at 1:41 PM

in the Southern state of Georgia

Whew! Glad they cleared that up. I was looking around Oregon and Idaho for Georgia.

mankai on September 9, 2011 at 1:42 PM

The problem with this jobs program and any, whatever number pass the program, there ARE NO JOBS for those who graduate! bho and team has seen to that! bho just flushes taxpayers(those who actually have jobs) and borrowed money down the drain for all his horrible ideas.
L

letget on September 9, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Howabout repealing minimum wage laws to promote job training? Let me hire someone on the cheap and if they can learn the trade, they will earn more.
WashJeff on September 9, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Additionally, we should clear out any laws that force employers to lay off workers rather than offering them lower wages.

Count to 10 on September 9, 2011 at 1:43 PM

You sued us for enforcing our immigration laws and now you want to parade around for some stupid program you started here. You can shove it!

Georgia does not need Obama.

RDE2010 on September 9, 2011 at 1:41 PM

FIFM

RDE2010 on September 9, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Where are the plans to stimulate actual real private sector job growth?

There are none. Failbama just loves those non existent ‘shovel ready’ construction jobs.

Did he ask congress to eliminate all the guest worker programs, like the H1-B program that is killing US high tech workers?

No, of course not.

dogsoldier on September 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Another taxpayer-funded, Obama-hyped program going bankrupt?

I detect a theme emerging from this administration.

AZCoyote on September 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Not good for state of Georgia. I have family there. he touted Solyndra and looked what happened there

ConservativePartyNow on September 9, 2011 at 1:46 PM

A jobs program in the Southern state of Georgia

Wow. Dude. Get out of Mom’s Bronx basement.

faraway on September 9, 2011 at 1:47 PM

The Obama touch – everything turns to …..

Chip on September 9, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Manure.

pdigaudio on September 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Can’t wait for 2012 and all the “thanks, but no thanks” letters to Obama in response to his offers to share a campaign stage with Dems up for re-election.

This guy could flip a two-headed quarter 1000 times and still guess wrong 50% of the time.

Left Coast Right Mind on September 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM

“I’m from the government and I am here to help.”

We have heard that one before.

In the 70′s my mother had a job on the Navajo reservation in southeastern Utah and northern Arizona. She was to recruit unemployed Native Americans for “federal job training”. Unemployment on the reservation was well over 50% in those days as it probably is today. She would sign folks up and someone from Social Services would be a day behind her telling them that if they applied for job training they would lose their benefits. She didn’t have much success. BTW, the source of most good jobs and job training in that part of the world over the pastd 20 or so years happens to be an evil strip coal mine.

el rey on September 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM

ConservativePartyNow on September 9, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Great point! Just hope bho doesn’t come for a campaign stop soon. That would put the things in a tailspin fast!
L

letget on September 9, 2011 at 1:49 PM

P.S. There’s a better word than manure but it’s not printable in a family newspaper.

pdigaudio on September 9, 2011 at 1:50 PM

From back in March: The federal government hosts 47 job-training programs, 44 of which overlap. It runs 80 programs for the “transportation disadvantaged.”

This fact made the news for about four hours back when this report was published, since then nothing.

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Another taxpayer-funded, Obama-hyped program going bankrupt?

I detect a theme emerging from this administration.

AZCoyote on September 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

I guess that’s better than them ‘Walking’ guns and grenades to criminal gangs, at least there weren’t any deaths as a result.

Chip on September 9, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Job training programs have been a farce for decades. I remember CETA from the 1970s.

Paul-Cincy on September 9, 2011 at 1:59 PM

We are having a hard time finding anyone to take $10/hour to do custodial and menial labor type jobs in our factory. This is in a small southern town with 14% unemployment and with a median home price of $125,000. I’m hearing the same thing from other manufacturers in town.

It’s freakin’ obvious: when you pay unemployment for two years nobody wants to take a job, especially if it might mean a pay cut. These guys are morons.

ReaganWasRight on September 9, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Last night, Barack Obama urged Congress to “pass this jobs bill” quickly

Fraud requires speed of transaction and sleight of hand.

bloviator on September 9, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Will somebody please explain to me why after spending the better part of a Trillion Dollars on “stimulus” nobody fixed the Brent Spence Bridge or shall we call it the already been spent bridge?

tmitsss on September 9, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Bishop on September 9, 2011 at 1:31 PM

LOL!

ctmom on September 9, 2011 at 2:04 PM

All of these job training organizations are simply minority staffing opportunities.

Dat true, and still African-Americans have a 16% unemployment rate – and their teenagers have a 47% rate.

Maybe . . . just maybe, fewer of them will vote for this charlatan – or at least stay home in 2012.

honsy on September 9, 2011 at 2:05 PM

in the Southern state of Georgia

Whew! Glad they cleared that up. I was looking around Oregon and Idaho for Georgia.

mankai on September 9, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Thats goofy. And you’re telling me you didn’t find Western Georgia?

C’mon.

BobMbx on September 9, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Simple answer for Obama—mandate it!

Rovin on September 9, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Your government is useless, except to inflict hardship

J_Crater on September 9, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Oh yeah President Hussein – let’s pass this jobs bill now “so we can find out what’s in it”.

Now where have I heard that stupid statement before?

greasywrench on September 9, 2011 at 2:11 PM

This jobs plan builds on a program in Georgia that several Republican leaders have highlighted, where people who collect unemployment insurance participate in temporary work as a way to build their skills while they look for a permanent job.

So, does this attempt to say this nearly failed program is what the Republicans are likely to propose for the entire country?

News2Use on September 9, 2011 at 2:13 PM

During the Carter Administration I had someone from the Employment Development Dept. contact me about a jobs training program. The way he explained it was that they would send me qualified applicants and would pay their salary (at minimum wage)and provide their tools (up to $600.00 worth) for six months while I trained them. After that time I would be free to hire them or let them go.

I never even got to the training stage because the “qualified” applicants they paraded in to my office were nothing but ex-cons and layabouts who had no intention of doing any work. Oh, and the icing on the cake, if the applicant did get a position, and completed his training, he would be given the $600.00 worth of tools that the taxpayer had been generous enough to buy for him.

I’ve never entertained the idea of government “help” again.

skeneogden on September 9, 2011 at 2:46 PM

“Oh yeah President Hussein – let’s pass this jobs bill now “so we can find out what’s in it”.”

The media will have everyone convinced that this is a normal way of doing business.

davod on September 9, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Yeah Barry, let’s rush into it, just like you did with Solyndra. Let me guess, you already have campaign donors businessmen ready and willing to accept federal dollars for running their “training programs”.

GarandFan on September 9, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Just because a program doesn’t work is no reason to leave it out of the President’s jobs speech. Stimulus 1 didn’t work and this stimulus is just a retread of stimulus 1, only smaller. But we can trust the President and believe that we are on the cusp of an acceleration of job creation and job growth. We just need the small boost of $450,000,000,000 to give it a little “jolt” off dead center. Hope and change will carry us through to our new economic tomorrow.

stefano1 on September 9, 2011 at 3:04 PM

in the Southern state of Georgia

Whew! Glad they cleared that up. I was looking around Oregon and Idaho for Georgia.

mankai on September 9, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Okay, given the way the democratics spend our money, it could have been the Eurasian state of Georgia. They have spent money studying hookers in China and gay men in Argentina.

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Despite the large number of workers who should benefit from Georgia Work$, the fact that only 92 people applied for entry in 2011 gives a pretty solid indication that, at best, this is not a program ready to be federalized.

That’s never stopped them before…

taznar on September 9, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Details, details!

Look, if you wanted programs that work, you should have elected someone else.

Obama understands that any of his potential voters in 2012 are far too stupid or have swallowed too much leftist Kool-Aid to pay attention to little things like whether a proposal makes any sense. All they care about is that he is funneling money to his peeps, the union thugs, government bureaucrats, and the permanent parasite class.

Adjoran on September 9, 2011 at 3:45 PM

I met a fellow who was being trained by Michigan Works to be a windmill repairman. I asked how he was going to get work since we have so few windmills. I have never seen a windmill living in SE Michigan. We don’t have the wind like plains states.

The guy told me his unemployment had run out, and they were paying him to train. He said “It’s a living’

Instead of training unemployed to chase windmills, why not train them to chase illegals. Set up an agency, and give the former construction workers a job verifying the citizenship of on site construction workers. Every time an illegal is busted, a job opens up

We would probably have to pay a bounty greater than the bribes that will be offered to bury evidence.

The EPA chases construction companies now to verify every last gnat and scaffold length, so such an effort is not impossible

In my state, construction is loaded with illegals working for subcontractors. The government acts as if the jobs are not there but they are there, just not being held by Americans

entagor on September 9, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Someone should tell Boehner (Santorum too) that pink is NOT a power color.

Common Sense on September 9, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Whew! Glad they cleared that up. I was looking around Oregon and Idaho for Georgia.
mankai on September 9, 2011 at 1:42 PM

The “Southern state”is meant to clarify he’s talking about “Georgia USA” and not “Georgia” a former state of the USSR.

DSchoen on September 10, 2011 at 5:44 AM