Universal Dislocated Worker Program…Finally!

American workers deserve assistance getting back to work.  After all, they got the education or training needed, completed internships, and went to work day in and day out like they were told to.  It is not their fault that other countries’ cheaper exports, due to substandard wages and conditions, are affecting their ability to remain competitive.  And most importantly, they’re not asking for a handout, they’re asking for help to get back on their feet.   After reading President Obama’s proposal to consolidate two major job training programs- The Dislocated Worker program of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program- to ultimately create a “Universal Dislocated Worker Program” that would provide reemployment services, $4,000 training awards, support to pursue training or look for work, as well as wage insurance for older workers, I could not help but think: “What took them so long? And why is something as important as this- something that could clearly help our sagging economy move along- still at the proposal stage.”

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Thinking About Attending a Technical School? Do Your Homework!

Commercials for technical schools appear on television every hour of every day.  As a result, many may catch themselves humming the quirky commercial jingles without intention.  If these technical schools have done something right, it’s advertising.  However, they seem to be leaving something out of their ‘too good to be true’ television offers.  The average high school student is looking for the easiest and fastest way to get to the top, an obvious target.  When one of these students comes into class and declares that they’ll be done with nursing school in nine months and it’s only going to cost them $15,000, there’s an obvious concern.

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Industry Growth in Texas Suggests Economy is Strengthening

The unemployment rate has been an issue of concern for several years now.  Some U.S. cities have recovered from the recession better than others and the current unemployment rate varies by state, with the national average being around 8.3 percent.

According to Bill Bowen, Texas is making progress towards lowering the unemployment rate.  In December, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent—the lowest rate since April 2009.  Industries that have added the most jobs this year include the oil industry, business and professional services, hospitality, trade, transportation and utilities.

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Real Internships Antidote for Low Motivation

Anyone who is an educator has experienced first hand the frustration of students who are unmotivated and seemingly unwilling to learn. For most of us growing up, when we slacked we were quickly “reminded” of why we should care by guardians that kept us focused. But what happens when those guardians either are not there or are failing, for whatever reason, to enforce that “reminder.”

Henceforth, we have the dilemma that many inner-city educators face. It has been known for some time that the dropout rate in inner-city schools is a problem that leads to even more problems. “In general, one in 10 male dropouts are in jail or juvenile detention centers. But that rate dramatically increases for African-American males to one in four.” Emily Jenkins.  And even for those that do not end up behind bars, the odds of breaking the chains of generational poverty are stacked against them.

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Governor Perry’s $10K Degree

It’s no secret that the U.S .higher education system is dealing with annually rising tuition costs.  President Barak Obama addressed this issue in his State of the Union address in January 2012 by threatening universities and colleges to lower tuition.  While America waits to see when and if tuition rates will decline, Obama is accelerating a new law which will lower student loan payments to 10% of discretionary income for eligible borrowers (previous 15%).

However, many are still questioning if the lowering of student loan payments will solve the core issue.  University students nationwide are graduating with an average of $24,000 student loan debt and this number only seems to be climbing.

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Straighten Up, or It Could Cost You?

A recent article in USA Today addressed a charter school based out of Chicago urging students to be on their best behavior or pay a fee. The Noble Network of Charter Schools Superintendant Michael Milkie says, “students aren’t particular fans of the system, but improvement in testing scores shows this form of discipline does work.” This approach was put in place in an effort to cut cost of paying teachers over time to supervise detention. This is how it works—students earn demerits for violations ranging from shirts un-tucked to being late to class, once they accumulate a certain number of demerits, they are given detention and pay a $5 fee.

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Texas Career & Technology Programs Moving in the Right Direction

An increasing amount of parents are hearing the dreaded words, “College isn’t for me!” from their own high schools students.  Education Views reports that approximately 20% of Texas students are not ready for college work. Texas also holds a 7% high school dropout rate.  Perhaps college isn’t the best option for all students.  How can Texas help prepare these students at a younger age to leave high school trained and ready for the workforce?

While most high school students are studying hard to pass the TAKS test or the upcoming STAAR, they’re lacking the opportunity to gain job training before entering adulthood.  Some Texas schools offer co-op programs that allow students to leave school early to gain job experience.  However, there is great need for actual job training for interested high school students.

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A ‘GED’-style Substitute for a College Diploma

As the GED is to the high school diploma, there may soon be an equivalent to the college diploma. A test such as this could open the door for many students who have failed to complete college for one reason or another.

Richard Vedder, Ohio University professor and author of Going Broke by Degree: why College Costs Too Much found that one out of three college graduates today are in jobs that historically have been held by those who have less education. With this disconnect between the increasing rise of college tuition and the job market, are there cheaper alternatives?

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Cost of Unemployment

We live in a society in which we often define ourselves by our daily roles and responsibilities. I challenge you to ask ten people “who are you?” the majority will define themselves using aspects of their job, what role they play in the life’s of others, and things they believe to be true from other’s feedback. The truth is, we spend a lot of time at work as Americans, that’s why this article over The Effects of Unemployment on Mental and Physical Health is so interesting. Anyone who has experienced joblessness knows it is a very difficult situation to be in, but what toll is it taking on Americans physically and mentally?

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Texas Youth – Felons Forever?

Reports suggest that 10% of the Texas population has been convicted of some kind of felony.  As one of the largest and most populated states in the country, this means 2.5 million people are felons.  Needless to say, this results in a significant number of people and families who are affected every year.  In addition, the U.S. is convicting a higher number of teen offenders every year.

After time is served, whether it is time in prison or probation, these people are forever disqualified from specific types of employment or even attending some higher education institutions.  If a teen is convicted of a felony, he/she is seemingly dooming their own career outlook.  One teen’s felony could result in a life long minimum wage salary and a constant rejection of his/her potential.

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