Tag Archives: Unemployment

Community college programs prepare students for the workforce

As the United States approaches its fourth year of economic confusion, economists are still undecided as to whether or not the nation will slip back into recession. With the national unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, feelings of uncertainty are saturated within the American public.

Even with the current air of insecurity about America’s future, there are signs of hope in the persistent job openings for highly-skilled workers. As technology develops, the skill level needed for specialized positions can prop up many industries.

To prepare the American population for in-demand jobs, community colleges are a vital factor in economic development. Two-year programs can prepare students for specialized jobs and partner with employers that are hiring to create programs designed to train specifically for new openings.

Community colleges can be flexible to the needs of employers by focusing on preparing students and teaching them the skills that are relevant to certain specialized and highly-skilled positions. During the slow economic recovery, two-year institutions have seen increased enrollment as people are studying in programs that will retrain them to meet the demands of employers.

A 2010 Federal Reserve report indicated that about one-third of students enrolled in post-secondary institutions were attending two-year colleges. Not only do community colleges prove to be important in retraining the workforce, but they also contribute significantly to the education industry in the US.

The importance of community colleges in the US economic recovery isn’t lost on the government. In October 2010, President Obama announced the Skills for America’s Future initiative, which encouraged public-private partnerships to create new retraining programs at two-year colleges.

The initiative aimed to increase the number of employers that partner with community colleges and create a stronger curriculum in order to match the skills needed for specialized jobs.

In the American Jobs Act proposal, delivered to Congress in September 2011, President Obama called for $5 billion to be spent on modernizing community colleges across the nation. If passed, the legislation would allow for upgrades to education facilities in order to better meet the demands of the 21st century workforce.

Sectors of the workforce that continue to be in demand for skilled workers include health care and manufacturing. Both of these areas continue to grow and require highly-trained workers to perform the new jobs.

According to the National Skills Coalition, middle-skill jobs make up the largest segment of the US workforce. Middle-skill positions are defined as those that require more than a high-school education but less than a four-year degree.

As the demand for skilled workers increases as the US emerges from the Great Recession, there may be a transformation in the ideals of the education system. No longer will high school students be pressured to enroll in a four-year university so they can figure out what they want to do with their lives.

There are plenty of highly-educated individuals out there with bachelor’s degrees working part-time or collecting unemployment. The future of the American workforce may be in the two-year programs designed to train students specifically for jobs in demand. Lower cost of education, higher return of employment; this may be the deciding factor in pulling America out of its economic slump once and for all.

 

WORKS CITED:

Evercloud, Debbie. “Community colleges assist in economic recovery” ourColoradonews.com http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/business/growth/community-colleges-assist-in-economic-recovery/article_ae4b39a4-de80-11e0-9d0c-001cc4c002e0.html

Smith, Diane. “Jobs plan would modernize community colleges” Star-Telegram http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/09/21/3386717/jobs-plan-would-modernize-community.html

Spencer, Katie. “Community colleges work to fill huge demand for ‘middle-skill’ workers” MEDILL REPORTS CHICAGO http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=181511

Obama to Unveil New Jobs Plan

If you happen to be one of the millions of unfortunate Americans who have been out of work for months at a time, you may have feelings of desperation and resentment towards the government for not taking further steps to remedy the unemployment situation.

As of right now, 14 million Americans are unemployed. This number does not include the millions more who have given upon on their job search after months of making no progress and those who have chosen to take part-time positions in order to fill in the gaps. Of the 14 million out of work, more than 6 million have been unemployed long-term. The current national unemployment rate is over 9%.

These numbers are definitely not music to the ears of the American working class. The Great Recession (apparently over) has given way to a weak recovery, and progress has been sluggish. In addition, a persistent fear among the long-term unemployed is that they might never find jobs again and have to live on government assistance for the rest of their lives.

It’s easy to point out the negative, but there is hope for the future. According to a recent article by the Associated Press, President Obama plans to unveil a new economic strategy to boost the economy and get Americans back to work in early September. Just after Labor Day, Obama will deliver a speech detailing his plans for helping out the unemployed and getting them back to the workforce.

Obama’s new bag of economic tactics will include:

  • Tax cuts to help the middle class
  • A build-up America construction program
  • Help for the long-term unemployed
  • Plans to tax the wealthy more in order to help cut the deficit

It may very well be that Obama is sweating about being re-elected for his second term. This makes sense. The 2012 election is right around the corner. According to the Associated Press, no incumbent in recent years has ever been re-elected for a second term with unemployment rates so high.

If you ask the Republican Party, they will probably tell you that President Obama is simply trying to get on our good side in order to be re-elected. But you have to take into consideration that times were tough when he stepped into office, and it usually takes more than three years to turn the entire economy around. Progress has been made; slowly but surely. The only way to go now is up.

So do not despair. There is hope on the horizon. We can only hope that Obama’s new jobs proposal will really help to ignite the economy and get us back to work in full force. In the meantime, it might be a good idea for the long-term unemployed to step in and pick up a part-time. As crazy as it might sound, it’s easier to find a job when you’ve already got one.

JobNab, Do You Know Where My Job Is At?

It’s February of 2011. Do you know where your job is? A large number of the American population answers “no” to this question. As a matter of fact, 9.1% is the current unemployment rate as of December, 2010. Almost one tenth of the US population is without work. Is this horrible? Will it get better? Is it getting better? Well, January is historically the worst month to look at job growth statistics. Let’s see why…

In ten out of the last twelve years, planned job cuts for the month of January have trumped those of December at around 20% more. In fact, 2011 is the fifth consecutive year this trend has continued. But I could throw in pretty much any statistic right here, like say, 90% of the left-handed American population prefers Jif peanut butter over most other brands five out of seven days of the week, and the vast majority would probably say, “Oh yeah, well that makes sense.” What do these statistics really mean for us, the hard-working people of the United States of America?

These statistics do show that January is usually a bad month for job growth, and there are almost always a lot of job cuts during this time. Job cuts are highly common the first month of the year, as companies are most likely trying to clean house with the coming of the New Year. Just like most people have their New Year’s resolutions of going to the gym or only drinking a six-pack a day, businesses like to have their own resolutions and weed out the bad employees to help them achieve those goals.

So if you have been sitting around the house since New Year’s Day in your sweatpants, scouring over job listings at the computer all day, watching reruns of SpongeBob and eating bowl after bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s the job market this time of the year. And every touch of grey has a silver lining, because although the job cuts are occurring at a higher rate when compared to other months, the number is very low when compared to past years. So 2011 is on the up and up even though jobs are still fading. They’re just not fading as fast.

This slowing trend of job cuts shows some hope for the overall market for the year and years to come. The market will get better, slowly but surely. But don’t expect to see results right away. The improvement is at such a gradual rate that it’s not enough to make any substantial impact on the unemployment rate. We will probably see that number teetering around 9% for a while. Patience is a virtue.

So don’t give up just yet. I wouldn’t go throwing away all of your real clothes and keeping only the leisure wear. You still might be able to get out of those sweatpants. JobNab is here to help…

Instead of wasting your time, straining your eyes and neck over thousands of job listings, why not sign up with JobNab and leave your search up to the professionals? JobNab has over 20,000 highly-trained job scouts in the top 250 job markets in the country with the sole purpose of finding you a job. Our job scouts seek out the best employment opportunities, verify their legitimacy and present them to you, the job seeker.

So get off those never-ending job posts on all the other job boards, and head over to JobNab. At JobNab, we do the hard work of finding a job for you, so you can stop focusing on the search and start focusing on getting back to work.