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Employers Commit to Train 3.8 Million Workers Under President Trump’s Executive Order Signed on February 10, 2020

Burdine & Brown Feb. 21, 2020

This is marvelous! And long overdue! A college education is overrated and overpriced. After 4 years of a liberal arts education, in 90% of our colleges and universities, the graduate still has no skills. I had no skills!! And furthermore, the students have been fed a pack of lies by their ultra-liberals college professors that has heavily influenced the graduate's world view.

Vocational training gives many high school graduates excellent opportunities to find a field of training so they can actually find quality employment after the training. And they will not have to earn a graduate degree before possibly become employed!

According to what I am now reading as reported in all news outlets, FedEx, General Motors, Home Depot, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and a number of other companies signed a pledge to expand aprentenship programs, increase on the job training and educate both high school students and workers to transform their careers.

I have had much experience dealing with Vocational Rehabilitation and Training in the Metro Atlanta area throughout my legal career. The law in the workers' compensation system in Georgia before 1992 authorized and in some cases mandated the insurance companies to re-train a disabled job injured worker.

Back then, many people who were seriously injured and could not return to work in their former jobs dues to their inability to perform the labor had hope since they were eligible to be re-trained.

Not so after 1992. What happened in Georgia? Well, the insurance companies sent their lobbyists to the Georgia State legislature beginning January 1992 and they lobbies hard, a full court press so to speak, that the cost of vocational training for the injured worker (only 10% of the overall population) was far too expensive for them to bear. They agreed that the cost of the vocational rehabilitation would cause the overall premiums in workers' compensation to skyrocket which would result in businesses having to move out of Georgia.

Well, by March of 1992, they had convinced the entire legislature of their “doomsday scenario” and a draconian workers' compensation bill passed out of the legislature. One of the primary features was a complete elimination of vocational rehabilitation and training programs for the injured workers. So sad.

Over the years, since 1992, when a worker who has worked for 10-20 years or more on one job (for example in a warehouse, loading and unloading goods off 18 wheelers trailer) and sustains a low back disc injury, lifting boxes and requires major surgery to his/her lumbar spine, and after surgery, that worker cannot return to the lifting job, the employer can say to that workers “we no longer need you.” The workers has no job, possibly no training (one job for 20 y ears) and no place to be re-hired.

These workers come to me seeking Social Security Disability benefits and possibly a workers' compensation settlement.

The shame of it is that the insurance company cuts their losses by settling the workers' compensation claim. Yet the Federal Government picks up the payment of benefits through Social Security payments to the disabled worker who has no other work skills.

So the insurance company cuts their losses by settlement but we, the taxpayers, pay for the Social Security Disability benefits and Medicare for the rest of this person's work life (until 65 years old). This is not fair. (It seems that the insurance companies always win).

Now, fast forward to the new Executive Order of The President. Not only do we have this extraordinary Order, but The President, in his persuasive way, has brought many Fortune 500 companies on board, with the help of Ivanka Trump, to commit to many different programs of vocational training.

The long neglected injured worker is only one group of people who will find new hope, assistance in a career change, and a path to dignity through working again after re-training.

Apparently, behind the scenes, there has been a huge amount of groundwork already done to make vocational training and rehabilitation a reality.

I would only hope that our Georgia State Legislature would “buy into” working with The Presidents' new initiative and create many different programs in high schools and beyond to give disabled people and even those who have no disability but do not want to create four or more years of college debt to find productive and satisfying work through this type of short-term training.

As manufacturing jobs are coming back to the USA, more workers are going to need specialty training to work these jobs. A partnership between industry and government and schools helps to revitalize the USA and to make America Great again.