Wall Street Journal Letters: Republican Idealist or Labor Department contractor?

The Wall Street Journal published 3 letters today in response to my piece last week on the failure of federal job training programs.

The second letter perplexed me:

Surely Bob Dole, Howard Baker, Orrin Hatch, Dan Quayle, Nancy Kassebaum, Jim Jeffords, Mike DeWine and Mike Enzi were not supporting “overlap and duplication . . . bureaucratic convenience, or politicians’ re-election considerations.” These GOP stalwarts have crafted these programs over the years to meet the needs of citizens and business. As a fellow Republican, I believe these efforts have proved to be a benefit to the country and have been consistently improved.
Michelangelo Indiveri
Placerville, Calif.

I thought at first that this might be a spoof. The notion of vindicating the competence of job training programs by invoking Bob Dole and Dan Qualye was akin to vindicating presidential chastity by invoking Bill Clinton.

I did a Google search based on a slightly different spelling of the guy’s name – http://www.google.com/search?q=Michael+angelo+Indiveri+workforce+investment&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&rlz=1I7ADRA_en

Voila! Several matches turned up under a listing of grant and subgrant recipients for the Workforce Investment Act, the Labor Department’s largest training program.

There’s an outside chance that these might not be the same folks, but….

A number of young folks wrote comments on the original article to vindicate current training programs. You can see their counterarguments here and reposted below.

I hope none of those young folks ever attempt to get a job as a copy editor or grammarian.

Cynthia Shishca wrote:

There’s always complaining, but nothing ever being done!! But there are some people who are working to make a difference. This is where we step in and take action! Another thing is that youth’s mentality today is very different. Now a days most of us take work experience very seriously. “I totally disagree on this article. For my job training experience was good. I worked and without the work experience i got, i wouldn’t have the experience I have now.”
Cynthia 21, Tesbil 19, Krystal 19, Nani 21, Anna 18

Eddie Cruz wrote:

Eddie (21), Antonia (20), Alex (18), Brishetie (22), Eric (22), Francisco (17).
Youth in Riverside County are more informative as to how to dress, speak, and conduct themselves in a work environment. This is due to the training they have received from Youth Opportunity Centers in six different locations. These programs have been funded by WIA and Obama’s stimulus package. Some of these youth have gotten internships and various employment opportunities, where they have been hired and received valuable work skills. The data in The Wall Street Journal, by Mr. James Bovard, is outdated and is targeting youth that were ineffective and were not checked up on to see how they were doing up to this point. This also points out that there is only data from some states and not from all of them, which means that the data is not complete and whole.

Brian (20), Robert (19), Domonique (22), Cordell (17), Dj (21)

In response, to Mr. Bovards’, “What Job Training Teaches; Bad Habits Article, includes no updated statistics in reference for the Bad work habits of young adults on the work site. Also his own, meaning Mr. Bovards’ work ethic is meager in obtaining information to justify his article. Furthermore, his resources for documentation, is slandering federally funded programs. James Bovard very well, is seeking the youth as the scape goat. Nevertheless if we are the future of tomorrow why is there digression instead of progression?

shuneza allen wrote:

The shift in our society impacts our youth’s in various opportunities. However, we strongly disagree with this article by James Bovard, due to the idea that not all job training programs lack in providing job skills. We believe that the programs and the employer’s play’s a major role in our community and also help determine the work ethics of each individual. On the other hand, there are those who face challenges such as self- motivation and comprehension compared to those that actually need more mentoring and detailed instructions/training. We also feel as though the leaders that we look up to as far as management sometime lack their leadership ability/ position in the work environment which discourage us in general. Alexis (19), Kentrell (19), Shuneza (20), Adrianna (20).


2 Responses to Wall Street Journal Letters: Republican Idealist or Labor Department contractor?

  1. Dirk Sabin September 23, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    Shame on you Bovard, you slackerslandering poltroon. ….”Nevertheless if we are the future of tomorrow why is there digression instead of progression?”. Hmm, is this an attempt at irony or am I reading too much into it? Yes, let a million flowers bloom.

  2. Jim September 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Dirk, my hunch is that “irony” is a topic that the Riverside job training operation has not yet coached recruits on.

    “Slackerslandering poltroon” – Dang, I wish I had thought of that. Now I have to revise my blurb sheet.