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July 08, 2016

Opinion: Nonprofit's Work Showcases Value of Job Training

Programs to arm Americans with the skills prized in today’s job market would do more to improve workers’ prospects than political promises to revamp trade deals, a New York Times business columnist writes in a piece highlighting the work of nonprofit training group Per Scholas.

The organization’s “women in technology” program offering IT training and certification to low-income workers represents ”the leading edge of a promising approach to helping embattled workers attain and hold on to a middle-class life,” Eduardo Porter writes in his “Economics Scene” column.

Per Scholas and other nonprofits took part in an experiment called WorkAdvance that offered targeted training to help low-income workers in several communities forge careers in promising business sectors. The groups worked with employers in their areas to identify the most in-demand skills. According to an assessment by policy group MDRC, participating workers saw 14 percent wage growth on average after two years.

“For some reason, this is a strategy the United States has not pursued earnestly in quite a long time. That looks like a mistake,” Mr. Porter writes.