Retraining Unemployed Workers in Ohio: Lessons from the JTPA
May 5, 2006
This report analyzes outcomes for over 12,000 unemployed Ohio workers who received occupational training during the final three years of the federally-supported Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). The program has both positive and negative lessons for current dislocated worker programs. Many of the most popular training courses were short-term and not skill-intensive, making it difficult for workers to find jobs with wage levels that were equivalent to their previous employment. Younger workers were an exception to this trend, in part because their layoff wages were low. Many workers had difficulty finding jobs in their training fields, indicating that the program generally did not have good connections to employers. Truck driving, the most popular training choice for men, was the most successful training path. Most people in this field completed their training and found training-related jobs with benefits.
The report makes four major recommendations for workforce development policy:
– Target high-wage occupations with benefits and career paths.
– Use labor market information and partnerships with employers to focus training on skills that employers demand.
– Encourage skill-intensive training that is more likely to enable dislocated workers to reach their previous wage levels.
– Provide financial and other supportive services, such as transportation and child care, to make it easier for people to complete training.\