White House Dislocated Worker Training Program Draws Directly From Hamilton Project Proposal

March 12, 2012 • The Hamilton Project • Education, Economic Security, Employment & Wages


The President’s newly announced Universal Displaced Worker Program draws directly from a Hamilton Project discussion paper, “Policies to Reduce High-Tenured Displaced Workers’ Earnings Losses Through Retraining,” by Louis Jacobson, Robert LaLonde and Danielle Sullivan.

The President’s proposal would provide workers with grants up to two years to complete training, ensuring workers  can gain skills in new industries. The Hamilton Project’s influence can clearly be seen in the President’s plan – in particular, that the grants would help displaced workers fund longer-term training, the focus on high-return training programs in technical fields, and the emphasis on screening and evaluation. The new program would seek to ensure that workers who need to pursue longer-term training in technical fields by providing awards for up to two years, in addition to providing a weekly stipend for childcare, transportation and other expenses.  Additionally, the program would provide increased investments in counseling, to ensure training participants are well informed about the effectiveness of training programs.

In the Hamilton Project proposal, the authors call for a new grant program that would provide grants for displaced workers large enough to fund longer-term training for up to two years and help them recover large earnings losses following their job losses. Honest Brokers at the thousands of existing One-Stop Career Centers would function as screeners to identify displaced workers most likely to benefit from training programs and identify the right training programs.

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