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Job training works. Yet the U.S. only spends .03 percent of its GDP on workforce training. In stark contrast, Denmark spends 18 times as much. France spends 12 times as much. And Germany spends seven times as much. We’re starting to see more and more states and cities emulating European trends. For example, the New York City government commissioned a experiment, WorkAdvance, which provided a two-year “targeted sectoral training program” for 1,300 unemployed and low-wage workers. Workers received training, job placement, and counseling on how to advance in a career. Participating nonprofits worked with local employers to determine in-demand skills. What were the results? After two years, participants made 14 percent more on average than workers in a control group and those who had been unemployed for an extended period of time had an earnings bump of $2,347. The New York Times’ Eduardo Porter takes a closer look at other state programs and explores why the country as a whole has yet to invest more heavily in job training.
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