I realize I dropped the ball on providing a summary of the great ideas out of the Joint Economic Committee’s hearing on Avoiding a Lost Generation: How to Minimize the Impact of the Great Recession on Young Workers. Young workers are facing record high unemployment and make up a disproportionate share of the unemployed.
With statistics like these, we need every good idea we can get. Arranged by originator:
- Combine the delivery of unemployment benefits with better job steering and training programs.
- Help young workers help themselves by giving them the information they need regarding projected future job growth and regionalization of industries – much of this information is already compiled by government agencies, but difficult to access and use.
- Provide young workers vouchers for training, so its more affordable and possible.
- Bring employers back into the discussion.
- Increase the mandatory schooling age past 16, which was set for factory work. Increasing the age will help them enter the workforce later with more skills.
- Encourage partnerships between pools of small businesses and community colleges to provide training programs.
- Better connecting workforce development programs with education system.
- Expand summer youth employment programs beyond summer months.
- Increase the quality and quantity of training and certificate degree programs.
- Better targeted efforts to employ those that are the most disadvantaged, including expanding public service employment opportunities for these young workers.
- Tax credits for training and hiring young workers, to make it more affordable.
- Encouraging students to go to training or certificate programs rather than college does not need to be seen as a bad thing, if those workforce development programs provide a clear pathway to success.
- Good paying jobs for those with skills, but less formal education, still exist – but our education system does not push students to them.
- We need to do something about the fact that once you are incarcerated and released, you are essentially unemployable.
- Tax credits for small businesses for hiring young workers.
- Federal transportation dollars should be used to hire young workers.
- Better enforcement of statutes that encourage hiring of young workers, like housing authority regulations.
- Subsidies for young workers to afford community colleges and technical training schools.
- Summer employment programs must offer real jobs to prepare young workers for entering the labor market and must connect to potential jobs later on.
- Go into elementary and secondary schools to begin educating students about different jobs, so they can orient for the proper pathway to that job early.
- Partnerships between foundations, government, the community, and businesses is crucial.
- Young people will stick with the training programs if they feel they are learning real skills that will increase their opportunities.
and then some not-so-great ideas:
- End the minimum wage.
- Strip out all labor market protections because they limit job growth.