Come On WSJ

In today’s WSJ:

To try to resolve this mismatch between potential workers and the businesses that want to hire them, Mr. Owens and Pastor Smith last year started a partnership called the Joseph Project that has already seen some early notable successes. They’ve also got an unlikely partner— Ron Johnson, Wisconsin’s Republican senator.

Seriously, it is unlikely that the GOP will support private charity?  Is a thousand points of light too old school?  Is the GOP looking to ban low paying jobs?  Is the the GOP responsible for the Obama outburst of job killing regulation?  Which party encourages private initiative?  At least they give Johnson a chance to explain why such a comment is so silly:

“It is a joy, being able to participate in that, seeing people’s lives be turned around. That’s true conservative values and they work. You [folks other than conservatives] outsource compassion to the federal government, that doesn’t work so good. You show your compassion here in your community, one person at a time.”

Rather than trying to send everybody to college and have the taxpayers support it, let’s try things like this:

Economically speaking, the Joseph Project removes friction from the labor market and solves a human-capital problem for employers. Since the best type of skills training happens on the job, for workers the program helps break “the cycle of cycle of poverty and despair,” as Mr. Johnson puts it.

Let’s be serious about helping people rather than try to see how much taxpayer money can be thrown at the problem.  On-the-job training (OJT) is a big part of the jobs solution.  The challenge is how to connect firms and folks.  The Joseph project is one way.   Another is happening at local hospital where they have created a training program for medical assistants (the first person you see in your doctor visit) that they pay for.  We need to keep a balance between academic training, mostly in college, and OJT.


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