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26 Jan

The Job Training Alliance, a network of Greater Boston workforce development organizations, including NECAT, commissioned a study revealing that 76% of unemployed and underemployed individuals completing local job training programs found a job and increased their wages.

Today’s Boston Globe article, Governor Unveils $5 Million for Job Training Programs, details this study, including the ways in which job training provides significant public benefits:

“The graduates [of job training programs] paid more than six times the state and federal taxes they had paid before they completed training, and reduced the amount of food stamp and family assistance public benefits they received by 67%.

“‘People think of this as a social service, but it’s not. It’s about the economy,” said Sunny Schwartz, chief operating officer of the Asian American Civic Association, which provides job training for building maintenance and bank jobs. ‘It’s about getting people off benefits. It’s about people paying taxes who weren’t paying taxes.’

Job-training programs have been criticized by those on both the left and right who question whether the cost to train each person — roughly $6,000 to $8,000 locally — is worth it. Job Training Alliance members concede their study is not definitive, but hope it will spur more research and “break this urban myth, if you will, that job training just doesn’t produce,” said Anne Meyerson, who oversees education and training for the YMCA of Greater Boston.”

Governor Baker has committed $83.5 million in state funding for vocational education this year.