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Job Programs Work

October 26, 1986

We are as concerned as Harry Bernstein about ensuring that there is no "Missing Element in Job Training: Jobs" (Oct. 1). Indeed, it would be a waste of taxpayers' dollars and a disservice to the economically disadvantaged and displaced jobless workers in our society to train them for non-existent jobs.

That is why the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Private Industry Council jointly established the Los Angeles Economic Roundtable, a distinguished body of economists and planners from 25 corporations, universities and public agencies, to analyze and assess job trends in the Los Angeles regional economy. In its 1986 report, "The Los Angeles Job Machine," the Economic Roundtable identified expanding industries and related occupations for targeting employment training dollars.

These selected Los Angeles industries are job producers. Although they make up only a quarter of the total employment base, these industries generate one-half of the new jobs in Los Angeles County.

Further, it is significant that this employment growth occurs in basic industries which have the effect of inducing additional economic growth in the regional economy. Rather than preparing the unemployed to compete with workers in static occupations, our aim is to direct training dollars toward growing occupations and thus increase the efficiency of key growth industries by recruiting, screening and training needed workers.

This county's approach is unique in the nation. Our job creation strategy integrates a comprehensive local industrial analysis with economic development goals so that job training resources are used to support the growth of new jobs which offer lasting careers. Among these resources are Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) funds managed by the county's Private Industry Council.

Over the past decade, Los Angeles County has produced more new jobs than any other major metropolitan area in the country. One of the principal forces behind this accomplishment has been the skill and adaptability of the Los Angeles work force. In an era of global economic competition, our quality of life is dependent upon maintaining and upgrading these skills. We share the concern about deploying our work force and public resources in the most productive manner possible. This is why we have created a focused direction for job training in Los Angeles County.

PETE SCHABARUM

Supervisor, First District

Los Angeles County

BERWYN N. FRAGNER

Chairman, Los Angeles County

Private Industry Council

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