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Josipa Roksa and Richard Arum, co-authors of Aspiring Adults Adrift. (Photo:  Social Science Research Council)

Ed researchers: Colleges can do more for students, especially in a bad economy

College is worth the investment. College graduates can't find good jobs. Student loan debt keeps rising, and now tops a trillion dollars. What can be done?

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Subsidize transitional employment wages

File under: income, jobs

0 (0 votes)

From: Robert P., Roxbury, CT

We have seen people both unemployed, and getting unemployment checks for 99 weeks. Two years of unemployment does no one any good. I was out of work for seven months, and it got harder and harder to respond to the "What have you been doing?" question in interviews.

How about offering directly subsidized wages to employers for hiring workers? The idea is to reduce the risk to hire for the employer, and to allow the employee to prove his or her value in a new job. We taxpayers would subsidize up to 30 percent of pay for the first 13 weeks, 20 percent for 13 more weeks, and 10 percent for up to 26 additional weeks.

There would need to be safeguards, of course: limits on the number of employees covered per employer to prevent employers from gaming the system, some way to protect the employee from continuous turnover, etc. The point is, instead of being cursed with "unemployment," the worker has the opportunity to gain new skills while bringing home a paycheck.

Sadly, I don't know how to finance such a program. I'd like to think funds could be shifted from current unemployment programs to transitional employment programs. And I think it'd a good idea to have workers pay back at least some of the transitional employment wages through a small wage garnishment after being employed for a year.

The benefits are big enough for all concerned that I think it's worth a shot.


Comments:

American RadioWorks |
Josipa Roksa and Richard Arum, co-authors of Aspiring Adults Adrift. (Photo:  Social Science Research Council)

Ed researchers: Colleges can do more for students, especially in a bad economy

College is worth the investment. College graduates can't find good jobs. Student loan debt keeps rising, and now tops a trillion dollars. What can be done?

Recent Posts

  • 09.17.14

    A company short on skilled workers creates its own college-degree program

    At a Toyota plant in Kentucky, young people are learning how to fix robots, earning associate's degrees and graduating with jobs that pay up to $80,000 a year.
  • 09.11.14

    A 21st-century vocational high school

    For years, vocational education was seen as a lesser form of schooling, tracking some kids into programs that ended up limiting their future opportunities. Today, in the nation's best vocational programs, things are different.
  • 09.10.14

    Career academies: A new twist on vocational ed

    Across the country, thousands of high schools are transforming into career academies. The idea is that students will be more engaged if they see how academics are connected to the world of work. And they’ll be more likely to get the postsecondary schooling they need to support themselves in today’s economy.
  • 09.09.14

    The troubled history of vocational education

    Vocational education was once used to track low-income students off to work while wealthier kids went to college. But advocates for today's career and technical education say things have changed, and graduates of vocational programs may have the advantage over graduates of traditional high schools.