By Bill O'Neil
Putting America's long term unemployed back to work--the goal behind a displaced workers program being pitched by the White House as part of President Barack Obama's budget proposal.
Officials said the revamped Universal Displaced Workers Program would include an immediate assessment for those who qualify for the program--and up to $8000 in job training assistance.
"It's going to get those displaced workers in to good quality jobs sooner--and it's going to insure they have the skills training they need to succeed" said Acting U.S. Labor Secretary Seth Harris. He told 550 KTSA News the program is in large part a response to what has been a fast-changing American economy.
"Right now we've got about 14-million unemployed workers--40% of them long-term unemployed workers--who are sitting on the bench--and we really need to get them in the game" Harris said.
The Secretary is also convinced the program would have an impact on the nation's unemployment rate.
"This will help--both because it will increase demand--but also--there are a few places where we have some skills shortages" Harris said.