Focus On the Long-Term Unemployment Crisis

The unemployment crisis, and especially the long-term unemployed, is becoming more of a concern in Washington: H.R. 589 has been on the table for some time, but now it's been joined by President Obama's American Jobs Act, S. 1549, and by Rep. Schakowsky's emergency jobs program, H.R. 2914.

One of the components of the American Jobs Act is the Reemployment NOW Program, whose goal is to facilitate the reemployment of EUC claimants and those who have exhausted benefit claims - the 99ers. One of the components of the Reemployment NOW program is the Bridge to Work program, which "would let businesses try out workers without having to pay them."

It's in everyone's interest to resolve the unemployment crisis. Bills like the ones above represent one approach, but not the only one. The WorkPlace, one of Connecticut's regional workforce development boards, has put together a program called Platform to Employment, which they describe as "a public-private partnership to prepare 99ers for jobs while creating a reliable way for businesses to hiring new workers without risk."

When government and the private sector are making efforts like these, it feels like we may, finally, be about to turn a corner.

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