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Getting Back on Your Feet - In Brief

September 1, 2005


Getting Back on Your Feet - In Brief

How safe is the safety net?

  • Growing concern over the impact of layoffs has led to a larger government role in helping dislocated workers find and prepare for new jobs. While public job training programs are not new, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 greatly expanded services for dislocated workers.

  • Observers have identified a number of problems with the WIA, including poor measurement of outcomes. The benefits of training program in particular, though often touted, have yet to be demonstrated conclusively.

  • Still, many consider the WIA a significant improvement over the previous efforts, in part because it seeks better connections with local businesses and deeper understanding of hiring demand.

Getting Back on Your Feet [Complete article]

photo of Ronald A. Wirtz
Ronald A. Wirtz
Editor, fedgazette

Ron Wirtz is a regional outreach director at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Ron’s primary responsibilities involve tracking current business conditions, with a focus on employment and wages, along with sector-tracking in construction, real estate, consumer spending and tourism. In this role, Ron networks with local businesses in a six-state region, both in person and via various communication channels, and gathers other traditional and nontraditional sources of information to assess current business activity. Ron also gives customized speeches on regional economic activity, and handles advance planning for regular outreach trips to Ninth District communities by Bank President Neel Kashkari. Prior to this role, Ron was the long-time editor of the fedgazette, the Bank’s regional business and economics publication, where he conducted research on such topics as employment trends, health care pricing and consolidation, housing, entrepreneurship, public pensions, income mobility, the Bakken oil boom and other topics.