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These Job-Training Programs Work, and May Show Others the Way

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participants in the Year Up job-training program prepare for a class

Participants in the Year Up job-training program prepare for a class in Dallas.

Credit: Nathan Hunsinger / The New York Times

The Biden administration is trying to prod often ineffective local and regional job training programs to adopt the comprehensive model of successful nonprofit programs. The administration has allocated $500 million in grants for its Good Jobs Challenge, a part of the American Rescue Plan of pandemic relief spending.

There is a growing track record of success for programs that are attuned to the hiring needs of business but go well beyond teaching technical skills. They share a holistic approach to work force development. They offer training for in-demand work skills and coaching in "soft skills." And they provide or arrange help with daily life challenges, like child care and transportation.

Lawrence Katz, a labor economist at Harvard University and lead author of a 2020 study of comprehensive programs, found that they delivered lasting wage gains of 11 percent to 40 percent. "There are very valuable lessons here for the government to improve its programs," Katz says.

From The New York Times
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