In his remarks after the release of the April unemployment figures, President Obama reminded us that America needs to fundamentally change the concept of unemployment from a period of ‘wait and see’ to a chance to train for and seek out the next opportunity. The president urged the states to allow the jobless to get the education and training they need for a better job without losing their unemployment benefits. As the president asks Americans to commit at least a year or more of higher education or career training, the Department of Labor and the Department of Education also announced the launch of www.opportunity.gov, a website to help job seekers with online tools.
As covered in an earlier blog, there is significant amount of research that suggests that investment in education or career training consistently beats that in equity and real estate. Career training and education is never been more important than in this time of joblessness. Many of the jobs that are lost today might never return. Jobs lost in the auto or newspaper industries may never come back and the traditional approach of paying unemployment benefits until the next job is going to lead nowhere. It is important to be able to learn new skills to prepare for the jobs for the new economy. While looking for a job is probably a full time job itself, it can also be a time time to take an inventory of skills and close any gaps with career training. This will not only improve the chances of getting a new job but also of getting a better paying job for the next economy.
The launch of the Education Center at America’s Job Exchange last month reinforces the same principles and our continued belief in career advancement through learning. Not only do we offer college and career training opportunities, we have been providing free career information through the CareerOneStop and free career related services for several states such New York, New Jersey and many others. AJE is not just a job search site to look for new jobs when one is jobless, but a place to manage a career. Managing a career includes investing in your skill sets and, if needed, going investing in learning and education. So, why not make a job loss the biggest reason to invest in a better career tomorrow? – Rathin Sinha, President, America’s Job Exchange