With heightened criticism on his efforts, or in some people’s opinion lack there of, to improve the job market and get our economy back on track, Obama has made a number of suggestions to help get our country back to work. For one, the JOBS Act was designed to loosen restrictions on small businesses so they could grow with ease and, in turn, create more jobs for the country. It seems that now, Obama is suggesting that states implement a new program that would allow for those that are collecting unemployment benefits to test out new jobs.
At first glance, this sounds a bit odd to a lot of people. “Give money to people because they are unemployed, but give them jobs while they receive these benefits to help them get back on track.” That may be how many people view this suggested program, but let’s take a deeper look at this possible new program. The program in question is called the “Bridge to Work” program and has already been implemented by a couple of states on their own accord. It is part of the “payroll tax cut package that Obama worked out with Congress earlier this year” reports USA Today and may be a way for those that are unemployed to keep their job skills up.
For starters, the program is modeled after a Georgian program called “Georgia Works.” Those that have lost their jobs and are picking up unemployment benefits can be placed in temporary positions as trainees for a short period of time so that they can keep their skill set up and and also learn new ones. Experts state that roughly a third of those that participate in this program end up keeping the temporary position and are hired as full-time workers. States that have already implemented this kind of program include New Hampshire, Utah, Missouri and North Carolina.
According to USA Today, the Labor Department is on board and has agreed to finance up to 10 demonstration programs to test it out. The Labor Department’s Secretary Hilda Solis was quoted saying, “States will get help in developing programs that can help put people back to work in the quickest, most efficient way.” This sounds like a great idea to help those that are unemployed keep their skills up and find a job, but how has it worked so far?
It seems as though the program has had mixed results across the states that have already implemented it. It is the hope of these states that the assistance from the federal government under the “Bridge to Work” program will help smooth out the kinks that exist in these programs and make them better.
What do you think about this program? Do you think that Obama is suggesting these “back to work” programs as a campaign booster? Do you think this kind of program will actually benefit the job market, our economy and the unemployed? Please let me know what you think! Sound off in the comments or tweet me @nicole_spark.