Conference on Chronic Unemployment Solutions – MIT

Conference on Chronic Unemployment Solutions – MIT – May 6th 2014

MIT held a mini conference today about the crisis of long term unemployment.  Speakers at the event spoke on various private and governmental organizations designed to help long term unemployed workers reenter the labor market.

Undersectary of Workforce Development, Jennifer James provided a summary of the MA One Stop System which equips workers the skills sets they need to attain jobs.  James primarily focused her discussion on relevant assessments. To view her remarks please click here.

Joan Cirillo, President and CEO of Operation A.B.L.E, discussed her organization, which is funded by the Department of Labor. The goal of A.B.L.E is to provide internships as a bridge for companies and employees. These internships are for anyone, but are focused on older adults (aged 55 and higher) and younger adults (ages 18-24). Cirillo stated that it was the goal to get the interns off of the government funded stipend program with 12 months. To see a copy of her remarks click here.

Rachel Kaprielian, MA Sectary of Workforce Development, discussed the problem more broadly, suggesting that the government needed to do more to help people get into the right kinds of jobs. She stated that the question she asks herself is, “How can we, the state, help you get what it is that you need.”  To see a copy of her remarks click here.

Jerry Rubin, President and CEO of Jewish Vocational Services of Boston outlined four things he thinks the government needs to do to improve the state of the chronically under employed. To see a copy of his remarks click here.

However, it was also noted at the conference that government funding for the above mentioned programs has decreased in the past five years. During that period chronic unemployment has decreased as well. As Kaprielian stated in her remarks, the job market in MA has increased.

John R. Fugazzie also spoke. He runs an organization called Neighbors-helping-Neighbors to assist the unemployed in reentering the labor force. A few years ago this organization received two-thirds of its funding publically, today it is two-thirds privately funded and continues to expand and assist additional individuals.

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