Gingrich: Every State Should Have Job Training Programs for Unemployed

Nicholas Ballasy | August 16, 2011 | 2:41pm EDT
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( – Former House Speaker and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said that any extension of unemployment benefits should require every state to establish job training programs for the unemployed.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks on deficit reduction, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“On unemployment compensation, I feel very strongly – this goes back to our welfare reform debate – the key to passing welfare reform was that people came to believe that giving people money for doing nothing is bad, that it destroys their independence, it destroys their initiative, it’s a terrible role model for their children,” said Gingrich during an address at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.

“We now have 99 weeks of giving people money for doing nothing and I would say that any extension of unemployment compensation should have attached to it a 50 state permission to run training programs as a mandatory part of – I don’t think you want a federal program – I think you want to say to all 50 states, you may now set up with your businesses in your state, training programs for everybody who’s unemployed so that in order to get unemployment compensation in the future, you have to sign up to get trained because by definition you don’t have a marketable skill.”

He continued, “Remember, unemployment compensation originally was in a cyclical economy where a steel worker or an autoworker happened to have 16 weeks off. Often done, by the way, to subsidize the company while they retooled. Well, that doesn’t exist now. If somebody’s out of work for two years, we have a real problem of education, a real problem of job skills.”

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