05.10.2012 0

Job training without jobs is like dog walking with no dogs: useless

By Rebecca DiFede — Seeing as President Obama has sworn up and down to create more jobs but has yet to make a significant dent in the still staggering unemployment figures, the federal government has introduced some job training programs to get people geared up for new employment — for jobs that are not there.

Oh boy!

This solution was administered in true Obama fashion: identifying the problem and throwing money at it until it was out of sight.

The issue with that strategy, however, is that the $15.4 billion of taxpayer money that Obama has given to nearly 50 federal job training programs as highlighted by the Wall Street Journal are mostly getting wasted on things like exaggerated employee salaries for those responsible for running the programs, and casino trips.

Because, as our illustrious president has taught us, gambling isn’t dangerous if it’s not your money.

In 2011, the General Accountability Office (GAO) performed an audit aimed at fiscal year 2009 to determine how the new programs were working, and found that only “5 of the 47 programs have had impact studies that assess whether the program is responsible for improved employment outcomes.”

With a pattern of uselessness like that, you wouldn’t be picked for the science fair let alone trusted with millions of dollars in taxpayer money.

When the GAO took a closer look at the 5 who had evaluated their progress, they had little to report. The job training programs apparently had performance data that was either inconclusive or downright deficient.

One particularly shining example of the insidious tomfoolery is the BlueGreen Alliance; an organization that combines labor unions and environmentalists (already a recipe for liberal disaster), and which received a $5 million job training grant under the stimulus. Despite that generous endowment however, the group has only placed 16 workers in jobs that they were unable to maintain for more than six months.

Wow. 16 whole jobs — or $3.125 million per job. Yup, totally worth it. That is hope and change at work, folks.

This idiocy is especially prevalent in West Virginia, where coal miners are being trained to do construction work…however there is no apparent market for construction workers at all in the West Virginia job market.

The above statement should puzzle you somewhat, so don’t worry if you have to read it again. In a state where coal mining has been the foundation of the economy for centuries, the Southern Appalachian Labor School (SALS) has been given $1 million a year to teach the miners skills that will help them find work in the construction industry, despite there being little demand for that sort of work anywhere in West Virginia.

When interviewed in the documentary “Regulated West Virginia”, the head of the program, Dr. John David, couldn’t name one specific example of a success story related to his graduates. He used broad generalizations, saying that the graduates of SALS are “finding jobs in various places and ways…going into lots of different things.”

Right. They’re probably working on that thing with that guy. You know, the thing.

One of the main driving forces against this ridiculous program is environmentalism. The tree hugger community is concerned about the damaging effects of coal on the planet, and regulations passed by the Obama administration are crippling the mining industry.

Of particular importance to the coal industry and coal miners right now are the regulations against miniscule mercury emissions. Rather than spending billions to refurbish existing coal-fired facilities, utilities are simply shutting these power plants down, and that is cutting demand for coal.

250 miners were recently laid off at one of the major mining companies in West Virginia and several have gone completely bankrupt, causing them to have to close down and their former employees to relocate in search of stable work.

Other Obama mining guidelines, like the Stream Buffer Zone Rule rewrite would cost up to 7,000 mining jobs according to the House Natural Resources Committee, and that number could only grow seeing as Obama has also threatened new tax on job creators, including wealthy investors who would have to pay up to 30 percent on capital gains under Obama’s fiscal plan.

Oh really? In an economy where a good job is harder to find than a palm tree in the Arctic, the man who holds the power in his fingertips is sinister enough to propose a penalty for those attempting to create wealth, which creates jobs in particular fields, just so that he can advance his own agenda. Unbelievable.

Perhaps a good idea, if this man masquerading as a capable president truly wishes to create jobs, he should rescind the heinous mining regulations so that miners can actually make a living off of their work which, by the way, is still an essential part of the way America operates.

While liberals may think that “America runs on Dunkin”, in reality America runs on coal. Other theaters in Obama’s assault against West Virginia’s main source of income include the 2009 carbon endangerment finding, and rules capping carbon emissions on all new fossil-fuel burning plants.

Instead of hemorrhaging money on idiotic, wasteful programs training people for jobs that don’t exist, are only hurting our country’s workers, and are draining what little money we have left, we must stop the menacing regulations and taxes so we give Americans what they have wanted and needed all along: real, sustainable jobs in every sector of the economy.

Rebecca DiFede is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government.

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