Monday, July 6, 2009

How job retraining can go from a crap shoot to a sure thing

Is job retraining a "crap shoot?

An article in the New York Times details the struggle of Michigan workers deciding on which career to pursue after losing a job in the automotive industry.

Under Michigan's "No Workers Left Behind program, " the state's 78,000 unemployed can begin work retraining programs in a new career. After completing retraining, many still have not found a job.

The problem with job retraining programs is that very few factor in the art of finding job champions as they begin their instruction. According to Joshua Shipsey, the founder of, a job champion is someone who can help someone find contacts within his or her industry.

With 1.4 billion in federal stimulus pending, it's time for the managers of these workforce programs to call upon former industry leaders to help build a network of job champions for those who want to enter a specific industry.

Even armed with the latest data from the Department of Labor, workers need a job champion to help them build a network within their chosen industry. There are thousands of these semi-retired executives who want to help people succeed in a new job search. It's time for our government to help connect them.

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