Re: A local, faith-based approach to improving the jobs picture

The contributions of an organization such as Jobs for Life are quite valuable. A few years ago I studied job training programs and contrasted government programs with private and charitable ones. The research literature “repeatedly found that government-provided programs are wasteful and inefficient and not infrequently yield negative returns,” whereas “private providers of training yield strong, positive results.”

In discussing charitable providers of training, I talked about the STRIVE program nationally and the StepUp Ministry locally. I was pleased to hear today’s presentation about Jobs for Life.

As I wrote in my report,

Private providers of vocational training or degree programs range from private universities to online vocational training and all points in between. And some are charitable organizations supported not by receipts and charges, but by donations, grants, volunteer work, and the belief that such work is important for the good of society, the glory of God, or both.

Several private training programs — especially charitable programs — start by addressing “soft skills,” which are those life skills that makes a person employable at any job: timeliness, proper attire, good hygiene, good work ethic, respect for others, a good attitude toward superiors and colleagues, good communication skills, sobriety, etc. Many also teach life skills such as financial responsibility and household management.

These skills are important to obtain because poverty in America is mostly self- inflicted, owing to poor decisions and behaviors, especially a weak work ethic.

You can read more about soft skills here.

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