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.