Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stimulate This - How to Create More Jobs for Gen-Y With the Economic Stimulus Plan


My friend over at Entry Level Living wrote an excellent article on how certain line items in the stimulus plan will effect Gen-Y. Some of the key take-aways I felt were from job training and higher education:

Job Training: the goal of the stimulus is to create jobs, this job training will help ensure Echo Boomers will have the required skill sets to get some of those jobs. $4 billion for job training including :

  • $1.2 billion to create up to one million summer jobs for youth
  • $50 million to expand Youth Build (provides jobs for low-income youths in constructing low-income housing)

Higher Education:

  • Pell Grants: $15.6 billion to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500, from $4,850 to $5,350.
  • College Work-Study: $490 million to support undergraduate and graduate students who work.
  • $6 billion for higher education modernization
  • Student Loan Limit Increase: Increases limits on unsubsidized Stafford loans by $2,000.
  • Student Aid Administration: $50 million to help the Department of Education administer surging student aid programs while navigating the changing student loan environment.
Read the executive summary of the stimulus plan here or read the full document here

Here’s where I get on my soapbox…

The purpose that the stimulus plan serves is to create jobs, unfreeze the loan market, and instill consumer trust and get them buying again – all as quickly as possible. Therefore I do not believe that $15.6B for Pell Grants belongs in the stimulus. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making higher education more accessible, shoot I hate having college loans. However, an increase of $500/grant/person is drop in the bucket when students are facing mounting student loans of $100K+. Moreover, this increase has no immediate fallout. It will help individuals get a four year degree, but we’re in a recession NOW.

Here’s what that $15.6B should be put towards, because it would be far more effective. Instead of giving that $15.6B away in federal Pell Grants, add it to the $6B set aside for higher education modernization, and then make that $21.6B total now available ONLY to students in the form of work-study compensation. Pay students to renovate their campuses with government money. This creates IMMEDIATE jobs for Gen-Y as they struggle to pay for school, it effectively helps modernize our state universities, and it makes higher education more accessible to those who are willing to participate in the work-study program. Granted, some of the workers would have to be more experienced workers who could train Gen-Y to give them the necessary skill sets required for the labor, but you get the gist of it.

Problem solved.

Thoughts?

-Josh Groth

3 comments:

ks said...

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Jenna said...

It seems like this will just create more issues with education. More of my friends who aren't getting jobs are going straight into grad school. Won't this just create way to many people (I can't say kids anymore, can I?) Who are technically over qualified for fewer jobs and yet have no real world skills. I think I just agreed with you Josh.

entrylevelliving said...

Thanks for the shout out :-) I really want this conversation to keep going on and off line. I have heard so many people say this stimulus plan is borrowing from our future--is this really the case? Will this help or hurt our generation and the generations after us?

As a side, President Obama is moving beyond stimulating to completely gutting and renovating our economy. We want things to go back to normal yet no one ever really asked if what is normal was ever good in the first place. Is a consumer based economy sustainable?

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