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Job Programs Work

October 26, 1986

Harry Bernstein's recent labor column titled "The Missing Element in Job Training: Jobs" (Oct. 1) is somewhat flawed. I would like to take exception to his comments concerning the Job Training Partnership Act.

As a work experience coordinator in the Tustin Unified School District, I have first-hand knowledge of the effectiveness of several of the JTPA programs designed for youth. One such program called PEST (Pre-employment Skills Training) requires that at least 30% of the student participants be placed in unsubsidized employment at the completion of training. I personally know of situations within Orange County alone where as many as 45% and 50% of the students are being placed.

Bernstein states that the JTPA program was "designed to help prepare millions of economically disadvantaged and displaced jobless workers to play a productive role in society." To a great extent this is being done. In addition, it should be noted that many special education youngsters have been able to take advantage of the JTPA programs offered by school districts, including vocational assessment.

While there may indeed be some problems encountered in adult placements, I believe that great strides have been made in youth programs during the Reagan/Bush JTPA era. Today's youth are being "reached and made work-ready." So let's look at the positive aspects of the program and give credit where credit is due. There is evidence that JTPA has succeeded better than the CETA program, and this is encouraging.

KENT S. MOORE

Corona Del Mar

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