I have used this column to advocate for and to agree with all initiatives that involve vocational rehabilitation. It is so easy to agree with and get behind all efforts to re-train people to enter the job market. My goodness, who would be against such an effort?
I have numerous clients in my workers' compensation practice who are disabled due to a severe job injury (which also finds the employers who argues they cannot accommodate my client's disabilities/limitations). Employers disregard disabled employees with no regard to seniority with the company of injury or the likelihood that the employee may not be able to find appropriate alternative employment. They just write off the disabled.
Two years ago the US Department of Labor gave the City of Atlanta a 4 million dollars grant to fund the Worksource Development Agency so this Agency could provide technical training to unemployed, underemployed, low skilled and low wage workers so they could get better jobs. As the Atlanta Journal put it in their recent front page headline article, “Worksource Atlanta is supposed to provide job training and support to the City's at-risk youth, laid off workers, disabled and chronically unemployed residents.”
But the City failed miserably. In fact, they were directed to place 225 people in new jobs in 2 years, yet, they only placed ONE PERSON!
The City was to have re-trained 450 people but according to the records uncovered, they trained 9 PEOPLE. This is just shameful!
I have been following Ivanka Trump's efforts to forge a partnership between the private sector and the government, at state and local levels, to retrain the youth, the disabled and those who have lost their jobs for various reasons. Ivanka Trump has pushed hard and received a commitment from many large private employers to retrain thousands of applicants. Just Google vocational rehabilitation in Birmingham Alabama, Ivanka Trump. This is a success story that is far different than what the City of Atlanta has produced.
Why is this so? You cannot just give money to local governments and expect results. There must be a PRIVATE partnership to these programs. Private businesses think differently with the money they are entrusted. Public officials have no clue.
I say “keep up the good work Ivanka!” Many people have been lifted out of poverty and into a new future and a new career through the great work you are doing.