The Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy

By Joel Blau | Go to book overview

9
Jobs and Job Training: Programs and Policies

People who do not want to rely on income support programs have another option: they can try to get into a job training program or perhaps obtain a publicly created job. Yet those pursuing this alternative face many obstacles. Few programs rank as an unqualified success; the actual number of vacancies has never amounted to more than a small fraction of potential trainees, per- haps one of every twenty workers,1and the programs themselves have always targeted the poor. So, not only is it hard to get into a program and the programs help only a little, but the skills participants gain usually come with a stigma.

These difficulties share a common origin. Unlike in European countries, employment policy in the United States has never tried to match the needs of business for a labor force with the employment needs of all workers. In- stead, it has left that task to the job market, making just a modest investment in the training of workers—the "disadvantaged" and people of color—who could not find work on their own. As a consequence, although some U.S. employment programs involve workfare and many are linked to welfare, most bear the marks of a residual social policy.

In training programs, as in so many other matters, modest investments have produced modest gains: too few slots, very brief training periods, and, except for those workers who were retrained after losing well-paying jobs, salaries that rarely rose much above the poverty line. During the second

-312-

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The Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • I: Introducing Social Welfare Policy 1
  • 1: Introduction 3
  • 2: Mimi Abramovitz - Definition and Functions of Social Welfare Policy: Setting the Stage for Social Change 19
  • Ii: The Policy Model 55
  • 3: The Economy and Social Welfare 57
  • 4: The Politics of Social Welfare Policy 90
  • 5: Imi Abramovitz - Ideological Perspectives and Conflicts 119
  • 6: Mimi Abramovitz - Social Movements and Social Change 174
  • 7: Social Welfare History in the United States 220
  • Iii: Policy Analyses 278
  • 8: Income Support 279
  • 9: Jobs and Job Training 312
  • 10: Housing: Programs and Policies 337
  • 11: Health Care 373
  • 12: Food and Hunger 403
  • Iv: Conclusions 431
  • 13: If You Want to Analyze a Policy … 433
  • Notes 437
  • Figure Credits 479
  • Index 481
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