Rethinking Retraining

In the midst of the Appalachian region’s declining industries, politicians are betting big on job training, with millions directed at those who lost jobs in coal mining and power plants. The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced nearly $5 million for worker training programs in Appalachia. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced more than $2 million in funding from the National Dislocated Workers fund, and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced more than $1 million in funding from the same program. But critics say worker training alone is no solution and that such retraining programs have a poor record in actually connecting dislocated workers with local employment that pays a comparative wage. Ted Boettner, an economist and executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, argues that a more broad-based approach to jobs, public investment, and wages will be necessary for coal country. Becca Schimmel from the Ohio Valley Resource reports.  Read the full story here.

Politics & Policy