Obama’s Plan To Get In-Demand Jobs For Displaced Workers

Here are provisions of President Obama’s jobs plan announced 21 March 2012:

• Universal Displaced Worker Program: The Universal Displaced Worker Program in the President’s Budget will help provide displaced workers, who lose their job when their employer closes down or eliminates their position or doesn’t have enough business to keep them employed, with the skills and reemployment services they need through a universal suite of services.

Unemployment line in California.

Unemployment line in California.

• Reemployment services for every displaced worker: Every displaced worker will receive proven job-search assistance to provide everything from work-search plans to assessing skills to determining whether and what kind of training makes sense.

• $4,000 training awards: Displaced workers will be eligible for training awards of up to $4,000 per year for up to two years. This funding ensures that workers who need to pursue longer-term training in technical fields to learn skills for new industries can do so. Workers would be referred to training based on assessments at local American Job Centers.

• Support to pursue training or look for work: To ensure that workers have the support they need while pursuing training, the program would provide a weekly stipend for childcare, transportation and other expenses of $150, ranging up to $300 for low-income workers, for up to 78 weeks, in addition to 26 weeks of UI benefits, . To assist with relocating for job opportunities in other cities and states, and to supplement their job-search, the program would provide workers job search and relocation allowances of up to $1,250 each.

• Wage insurance for older workers: To support older workers returning to work, eligible workers age 50 or older who obtain new, full-time employment at wages of less than $50,000 may receive wage insurance for up to two years to partially offset earnings losses in new jobs that pay less than their previous jobs.

• Investing in Proven and Effective Training: To build accountability into our training system and ensure that that workers are directed to the most effective training in high-growth fields, the President’s proposal will include: increased investment in counseling and case management services to give participants better information about training programs that are effective and have good track records; incentives and performance standards for both participants and training providers; and robust evaluation of what works.

• American Job Center Network. Every person seeking job assistance or business looking for skilled workers should be able to physically or virtually reach an American Job Center and tap into the nation-wide, Federally-funded system of job search assistance and information, training, and other supports.

• Universal Access: State and local one-stop career centers are part of a national network of service providers for workers and businesses. Each year, more than 30 million individuals already tap into existing workforce system resources, but there are millions more who could benefit from being able to reliably find the services they need to succeed in today’s economy. As a result of this rebranding and outreach effort, every person will be able to access an online tool or a 1-800 number through which they can access upgraded and personalized services; will have access to the American Job Center network near where they live; and will be able to access in-person consultation services and job search assistance. The Administration will build on its partnerships with state and federal agencies, libraries, community colleges, and community organizations to ensure broad access in all parts of the country.

• Online American Job Center: In the coming months, the Administration will also unveil a new, integrated online American Job Center at JobCenter.USA.gov which will provide a single point of access to resources oriented to the needs of an individual or business. This online tool will mean 24-7 access to key information to help people find a job, identify training programs, and tap into resources to gain skills in growth industries. The website, which will incorporate information from key federal programs and critical local resources, will also serve a resource for the brick-and-mortar Job Centers throughout the country.

• Further Proposed Investments: The President’s Budget also proposes a $50 million investment to further expand connections to the American Job Center network. This includes expansion of Center satellite programs and virtual centers in public housing, schools, libraries, and community colleges, plus the addition of mobile centers. This effort would also support greater co-location and coordination of services that Americans need to find work and access training.

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