Thursday, September 6, 2012

I'll be attending this tomorrow

"Getting America Back to Work: Can Training Programs Do the Job?" at AEI

It's got a great line-up of speakers. I find the title interesting. It all depends on what "getting America back to work" means. If we're thinking short-run, my answer is "no", if we're thinking of long-run, my answer is "yes". Some people get worked up about talking about training and other structural issues (see Paul Krugman's response to Bill Clinton's speech). While I'm with Krugman on the business cycle question, I think it's only natural to frame the structural stuf in terms of the recession - particularly in this town. That doesn't mean these are bad policy ideas or findings. You've just gotta train yourself to tune out the references to short-run policy responses when they're political framing rather than actual macroeconomic claims. Of course when they are actual macroeconomic claims, you have to address it as such.

I have been meaning to attend this for a little while now, but just registered this morning - so if you want to register it looks like there's still room.

Here's the AEI summary:

"With unemployment and long-term joblessness at stubbornly high levels, many Americans look to job training as a way to reinvigorate the work force. The federal government currently supports over 40 different programs that provide job training and spends billions of dollars annually training and matching unemployed workers with jobs.

How effective are these training programs, and what are the best ways to organize them? What do we currently know about these programs’ performance, and how can we improve the way they are assessed and evaluated? This conference will feature three panels focused on publicly funded job training programs, their performance in the U.S. and possible reform ideas.

8:30 AM
Registration and Breakfast

8:50 AM
Opening Remarks:
Steven J. Davis, University of Chicago and AEI
9:00 AM
Panel I: Best Practices in Job Training Programs
Lawrence Katz, Harvard University
Harry Holzer, Georgetown University
Michael R. Strain, AEI

10:00 AM

10:15 AM
Panel II: The U.S. System of Publicly Funded Job Training 
Jeffrey Smith, University of Michigan
Gary Burtless, Brookings Institution
Kevin A. Hassett, AEI

11:15 AM

11:30 AM
Panel III: Perspectives on Reform of Publicly Funded Job Training
Paul Decker, Mathematica Policy Research
Betsey Stevenson, University of Michigan
Kenneth Troske, University of Kentucky
Steven J. Davis, University of Chicago and  AEI

12:30 PM

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