$5,000 each to retrain for a new career? Big deal!

Insert Charlie Brown Peanuts-like laughter here….


2.6 mil breaks down to about 5 grand per person.

This is NO different than the money that the state gives every laid off worker to “retrain” for a job.

And what’s hideous: what kind of retraining do you suggest for s somebody who is upper management or a highly trained scientific worker with a masters’ degree or better? When you have a masters degree or more, retrain for a career in doing what?

This is a bandaid that our illustrious state started to hand out nearly 5 years ago when the economy started to go bad.

And this is really no big deal: the only thing the grant supports is tuition. Books, fees and other expenses are up to you — and that’s a stretch for somebody who is not working.

The money can only be used in a state-operated school or a community college. So forget using the money to be a paralegal, reflexologist, massage therapist. You also cannot take courses in any ole thing; it has to be for a “career in demand” — and that list in itself is a great big fallacy, like Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny and The Tooth Fairy.

Teaching/education is still on that list. Many many teachers are out of work, and that includes the kid accross the street from me who graduated last June. He can find job as an aide only and it’s a contract job.

3 thoughts on “$5,000 each to retrain for a new career? Big deal!”

  1. The only group that the aid helps is the colleges, who can add a few students to their classes at very little cost. It ought to be fairly easy to avoid giving the recipient of the aid any actual cash, much as one who receives a scholarship never sees actual cash, but just gets a credit on their tuition bill for whatever the aid is.

    My guess is that anyone coming out of Roche who wanted to teach K-12 and got the required certification would be in demand if they hold a doctorate in science or even a master’s degree because districts are often short of teachers of science and math.

    What I suspect is that the scientists and managers moved to the new location and it’s the support people who will take it on the chin.

  2. This was happening here where they had this tuition available for retraining for displaced workers. Here’s the kickers though and you had to be a non college graduate (college grads like me were out of luck)and they gave you a list of acceptable jobs to train for. What I didn’t mention were the jobs were things like teacher’s AIDE and nursing AIDE. Not teachers and nurses, nope assistants. Also things like retail clerk, fast food and a bunch of other stupid things. Ok first off most of these jobs until very recently were mostly jobs you learned on the job. I have relatives who got nursing assistant jobs and they learned as they worked. Retail clerks and fast food are traditionally low skill jobs that teens and college kids along with seniors and stay at home moms do, yet now they require training? The program didn’t even pay for classes past junior college either. Explain to me how this will help those who need help and what about people like me? I’ve met so many college grads unemployed courtesy of the economy.

  3. The question that I have to ask is whether people are owed goverment-paid access to retraining when a company leaves the area. I don’t think that they are owed such aid, much less retraining for an advanced degree or a bachelor’s degree in a new field. Most of the time, the company does not close overnight, and people have an opportunity to seek other jobs, though if the alternative is an hourly wage without benefits, people might wait to be laid off rather than leave willingly.

    The larger question is what the shape of the workforce will be in the future. These training programs seem to be more geared to support service industries than manufacturing. It doesn’t make sense economically to train college graduates for jobs that pay less in many cases than even the much maligned liberal arts majors typically earn, and that might be the reason that the funding isn’t available to people with a bachelor’s degree. I don’t know what the income tax rate is in New Jersey. If it is somewhere between five and eight percent, the person receiving the aid would have to earn between $62,500 and $100,000 that is taxable in New Jersey for the state to recoup the investment, presuming that the retraining aid is not subject to state tax. I doubt that there is a requirement to remain in New Jersey for a period of time after the training is completed.

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