White House Eyes Georgia Jobs Program07:40
Download

Play
Attendees walk to company booths at a Georgia Department of Labor job fair. (AP)
Attendees walk to company booths at a Georgia Department of Labor job fair. (AP)

In his speech before Congress on Thursday, President Obama is expected to mention one state program that he says is working to create jobs in this bad economy.

It's called Georgia Work$, and it's a voluntary program that pays people who are receiving unemployment benefits a small stipend while they receive up to eight weeks of on-the-job training at a participating company, in the hope that they get hired. The companies, in essence, get free labor, while employees get a chance at a more permanent job.

About 25 percent of participants do get hired immediately after the program, and within 90 days 60 percent had found jobs.

The National Employment Law Center is concerned that the program is a misuse of unemployment funds and exploits workers. But more than 30 states are now considering starting programs similar to Georgia Work$.

Guest:

  • Mike Thurmond, former Georgia labor commissioner, who created Georgia Work$ in 2003.

This segment aired on September 6, 2011.

Support the news

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news