Retargeting job-training funds
The federal government’s job-training efforts are staggering: Forty-seven separate programs administered by nine different agencies costing $18 billion.
It might sound like a great idea. But most of these programs are not proven to be effective. And that's not just my opinion.
A report by the Government Accountability Office found that “only 5 of the 47 programs have had impact studies that assess whether the program is responsible for improved employment outcomes.” And among the few that did measure impacts, the results tended to be small, inconclusive or short-term.
One federally funded job training program here in San Bernardino County graduated 400 of the 500 students who entered the program. But only 12 percent found jobs in the field they were trained for. By most any standard, that’s a remarkably poor return on a $2 million federal investment. In some cases training programs cost more than $76,000 per successful job placement, according to the Department of Labor’s inspector general.
Sadly, the federal government is spending billions on administration of job training programs rather than on training the people who need jobs. In short, job training isn’t the goal. Job placement is.
Part of the problem is that well-intended training programs are inflexible and contain too many strings when implemented at the local level. We need to shift from predominantly federal control of job training to predominantly local control and instill accountability. Fixing these programs isn’t a Republican issue or a Democratic issue. It’s really a common sense issue.
In recent years, there has been a push for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in schools. I support these programs, but it will be years before we see results in the workforce. Right now we have thousands of people who are unemployed and thousands more who are under-employed. These are hardworking folks who are busy raising their families and go to work every day, often at low-wage jobs. They have the dedication to hold down a job. But they can only dream of getting the training they need to get ahead to a higher-paying job. Unfortunately, the current job-training programs do little or nothing for these workers who can be our greatest asset. Leading companies are already using best practices in paid, on-the-job training programs. So if we use the same practices to create paid job training programs, we too will succeed.
The one-size-fits-all philosophy of federal job training doesn’t work. Local control of job training is essential. We need more up front student assessments and proven learning models such as block training. Effectiveness needs to be measured not just in the number of people trained but in how many are placed in the jobs they are trained for. One proposal now in Congress would consolidate 35 federal job training programs into a single fund that states and counties would administer.
Another idea is to provide tax credits for on-the-job training. On-the-job training offers the benefit of knowing an actual job exists and that a real-life employer has screened the candidate. But employers are wary of existing programs because if untrained workers don’t work out and must be terminated, the employer’s unemployment insurance premium will take a hit. So it becomes a big gamble to hire.
More than 1.4 million Californians are out of work and 74,400 of them live right here in San Bernardino county. These are people who want to work, who need to work. So the time is right to enhance our job training programs and put our residents back to work.
Sheriff McMahon adds deputies to High Desert streets
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is now fielding additional deputies in Victor Valley communities — a move praised by First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood.
“In the unincorporated areas, we added five additional deputy sheriffs,” Sheriff John McMahon said in a briefing to the Supervisor.
Lovingood, who has advocated for more deputies in unincorporated areas, previously allocated funds for separate High Desert crime sweeps. Lovingood welcomed news of the extra deputies.
“Sheriff McMahon has really come through for our residents,” Lovingood said. “This is a perfect example of effectively managing taxpayer dollars, because the Sheriff and his team were able to find innovative ways that put more deputies into our communities -- without requiring more funding.”
The development comes following the February opening of the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto. The expanded jail allows deputies and CHP officers to book suspects locally instead of driving them down to the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. Sheriff’s officials estimate the time saved equals two to three full-time deputies.
Learn to save a life in two minutes
First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood is helping promote a new “hands-only” CPR technique that can be learned by watching a two-minute online video.
“Eighty-nine percent of people who have an out-of-hospital heart attack die because they don’t receive immediate CPR on scene,” Lovingood said. “Learning CPR is something we can all do. It doesn’t take much time, and can save the life of a family member, a friend or a stranger.”
May 22 marks “AMR World CPR Challenge” local agencies are invited to participate by hosting an event where participants will be trained in compression only CPR.
“Compression-only CPR performed by a bystander can more than double the survival rate of a cardiac arrest victim so there’s a strong chance that someone that we will train will save a life in the future,” said Bill Sanger, CEO of ESMC, AMR’s parent company. For more information, contact Diana McCafferty, Manager of Administration San Bernardino County, at 909-477-5094 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lovingood congratulates D.A. on workers comp victory
First District Supervisor Robert congratulated the District Attorney’s office on a recent workers compensation fraud conviction of three people including an attorney who pled guilty to 43 felony counts.
“Deterring workers compensation fraud is the right thing to do,” Lovingood said. “It also sends a message that San Bernardino County is leveling the playing field for businesses that are struggling under rising workers comp premiums.”
A California Department of Insurance report found that for every $1 invested in workers comp anti-fraud efforts brought a return of $6.17. California’s workers compensation premium rates are rising faster than the national average. Questionable Workers Comp reports are on the rise. To report suspected workers compensation fraud, call the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4537 or We-Tip at 800-US-FRAUD.