Room for Debate: Who Should Pay for Workers’ Training?

Source: New York Times, Room for Debate, March 19, 2015

Introduction
A recent article about the demand for welders in Texas and the Gulf Coast region highlighted a growing partnership between the energy industry and community colleges. As the economy still struggles, and a so-called skills gap persists, who should pay for workers’ training?

Debaters:
Credentials, Not Diplomas, Are What Count
Maurice A. Jones, Virginia secretary of commerce and trade
Noncredit courses and training, with financial support from government and industry, can create ready-to-work job applicants.

Industry and Government Need to Help Workers More
Sara Goldrick-Rab, sociologist
Employers should reinstitute training programs. And government should bring down the cost of post-secondary education.

A Shared Responsibility
Dennis Brown, community college president
The area for the greatest potential for infusing dollars to help support students pursuing certificate and degrees are companies.

Private and Public Investment Is Needed
Chauncy Lennon, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Better data is important to ensure that resources are strategically spent on training programs that align with employers’ needs.