More than 4 million people have been out of a job and searching for more than a year. Could an online education program taught by the nation's most transformational instructors save them?
This week's Working it Out question was: "Should anything be done to help the long-term unemployed? If so, what would be your #1 recommendation"
Your comments ranged from: Let 'em fend for themselves to Create government jobs for them!
I'd like to propose a third way. As I wrote in introducing this week's Working it Out question, a New York Times review of job retraining programs said: "For all the popularity of these government-financed programs, there are questions about whether they actually work." But I'm wondering whether, rather than abandoning them, what's required is a new approach to them.
Obviously, job training's effectiveness depends on who's doing the teaching. And training effectively isn't easy. Even courses at brand-name universities often don't generate great growth even in Ivy-caliber students. Think back to how few transformative instructors you had. And consider the frighteningly poor national freshman-to-senior growth. It would be much more difficult still to recruit thousands of instructors capable of transforming the nation's long-term unemployed, into the long-term well-employed -- in a new field, no less. After all, they'll have to compete with many other applicants who are or have been employed in that field and who don't have that huge resume gap indicating they've been passed-over by umpteen employers.