Retraining Workers for Productive Employment. By: Rita Phetmixay And Andrew Ives. What are the salient characteristics of workers losing jobs in manufacturing in recent years?. The salient characteristics of workers losing jobs in manufacturing in recent years are:.
By: Rita Phetmixay
the Centralina Workforce Development Board
observed that many Pillowtex workers:
• Had a reluctance/inability to confront reality and consider life options.
• Were intimidated by the idea of returning to the classroom and did not take
initiative to seek training.
• Were not eager to attend school.
• Had little or no computer skills, rendering them ineffective in a job search
Many workers who have lost their jobs are older and had spent their lives working in one industry. In need of a job right away, many pick relatively short training programs, which often have marginal benefits.
Workers trying to pick a new field cannot predict the future of the labor market, especially in a time of economic mayhem.
Displaced Workers’ Characteristics
This evidence on skill is consistent with the differences in older and younger displaced workers' pre-displacement earnings. The higher skill levels of the older displaced workers suggests that they may
be more effective learners than our sample of younger displaced workers.
in their transitions to their new jobs:
The WIA offers three levels of services:
Their basic services stem from their outreach and include assistance searching for and being placed in a job, as well as information about the labor market.
Their more intensive services include a comprehensive assessment, the creation of individual employment plans with and for an individual, counseling, and career planning.
They also offer training services that help people find job opportunities in their community. The training can be for occupational and skills training.
Reform Act (TAA)
• Offers two years of training programs including English as a second language classes.
• Assistance with the Job search as well as a job search allowance
• A relocation benefit if it is necessary for an individual to relocating for a new job.
• Up to 104 weeks of weekly income Trade Readjustment Assistance during training. It offers the same amount as Unemployment Insurance.
• Health Coverage Tax Credit subsidizes 65% of health insurance premiums in qualified health plans.
• Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits workers over 50 years old, who otherwise qualify for TAA benefits, and who obtain new employment within 26 weeks, with a wage subsidy to bridge the salary gap between their old and new jobs.
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College invited 3350 workers that showed interest in the worker retraining services. Most were much older than the normal student body and they participated in ESL and obtained GEDs, some even completed nurses’ aid training.
Around 1600 were former Pillowtex workers who were interested in retraining. Only 604 were enrolled in curriculum courses and between 400-600 mainly enrolled in short term courses.
Younger workers looked for retraining in greater numbers, while older workers tended to have more experience and skills from on the job training.
The results of the study yielded that there would be significant payoffs if students received a degree. However, a small number of courses may only increase earnings by a small amount if any increase is made at all.
Many graduates experienced a 7-10 percent or 4-5 percent increase in earnings based on the courses taken.
Younger and older workers typically receive the same increase in pay from their class work.
It has not been determined yet which path would be the best to employ workers, but both sides to the argument have legitimate arguments.
Many workers have been confused by what the best field would be to enter in. Some have been retrained to find their jobs that they thought would be available to be full of other formerly unemployed people or that the market was smaller than expected.
In Michigan of the retrained workers 60 percent had not found a job or had found one in an unrelated field. Some workers may have gone in for technological repair and found themselves driving a school bus or taxi.
Many skilled workers end up being forced to accept unskilled labor as a result of rapid changes in the market since their entry into school.
There is little correlation between the workers that have been retrained and not retrained. Some have slight increases in pay while others still are unable to find new jobs in their field.
The benefits vary from the courses taken and the age and experience of the workers.
Many unemployed workers are as successful finding new jobs but at a lower pay.