Jobs, credits, and speeches

It’s been kind of interesting to hear and read some of the comments about Obama’s big jobs speech.

But especially about his proposals involving the work experience programs… modeled pretty similar to the one I’m in now, except that they require it as a condition for unemployment, the one here mostly outsources the actual process to private companies they assign you to, and the one here pays a small stipend instead of unemployment (total being a little under half what I got per month on unemployment)

So its interesting to see all the comments about how cruel it is to make people work for for free or for benefit checks… and how much its taking advantage of them for cheap labor.. and how little benefit they get… and all of that sort of thing.

When I’m basically in the same thing, which seems like my best option right now.

Not sure how I would have felt about being required to do the program as a condition for unemployment. It might have helped to have the extra added experience while I was still new to the job search rather than wasting time doing apps before it that would have had a better chance with the experience and with less time having passed.

But I suppose it depends on the specific company on whether its being treated as true experience, or taking advantage. Honestly… with the two companies I worked at so far, the first company had the most to gain from our help financially…. but knew they werent able to hire right now, and were very much aimed at our benefitting from learning the ropes and being able to transfer skills. The other one had a change in managers midway through…. the first one had seemed to be really interested in the program and had a record of hiring from the workers, but the other one who had traded spots with her rarely interacted with us at all, and hired quite a few people without even seeming to consider the ones in our group that had applied… and then played games on hiring dates with the one they did hire.

So, as much as its still been an overall positive experience, I can see how it could very quickly go towards being just free help under the wrong leaders…. and I’m not sure that making it happen on a large scale would be a help on that.

But the tax credits could be interesting to see if it gets more businesses who are on the edge taking the move towards hiring people.

One thing I didn’t realize at all last time I was in the program is that because it is state funded, it actually already counts for tax credits for businesses who hire program participants, and also counts as vocational rehabilitation for court purposes for the people who that applied to.

That really should have been a detail that was offered up front… and explained better. I found out not from the job program itself but from my site supervisor on location.

Half of the time, I’d completely skipped the voluntary questions about things like getting food stamps, because I figured anything I answered positively in that section wouldn’t help me… i mean, the sterotype of the welfare queen who doesn’t really want to do anything is hardly someone you’d want to hire… so I totally didn’t realize that by being in the work program, answering yes to the applicable questions would look like dollar signs to some businesses, probably the best benefit to hiring me over someone else that I could ask for.

So I’ve actually started to get my hopes up a bit more on some of the ones that start asking those sorts of questions… now that I know what they are actually trying to find out and why, and that there’s a good chance it could help me instead of just hurting my impression.

But, I bet a lot of the questions on these tax credits will be the same way…. people will skip them if they are voluntary, thinking the answers will hurt them and not realizing it has financial perks for the company in their favor.

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