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Workforce Commission presents grant to McLennan Community College and L-3 Communications

July 29, 2009


By Derek Smith

Tom Pauken has been traveling the state talking to local workface agencies, business owners, and employees, as Texas, which is still doing better than most of the rest of the country, sees unemployment rising and the economic downturn starting to show it's most serious effects statewide.

He was in town touting the job training grant for MCC and L-3, job training being a subject he says is vital for the future in combating unemployment. He says these economic times do provide a good opportunity for students to focus on what some would consider non-traditional routes to build technical skills.

But it's not just youth. This training could revitalize older workers who suddenly find themselves unemployed, a group he says he is disturbed to seeing growing.

Training for one of the 139 new jobs created or upgraded through the grant are an example, he says, of partnerships that the Workforce Commission is working to foster between private and public entities. Pauken says that while he's excited about the long-term prospects of job training, he's also concerned about trends that could have a long-term effect on the economy that have been going for awhile now.

Training for one of the 139 new jobs created or upgraded through the grant are an example, he says, of partnerships that the Workforce Commission is working to foster between private and public entities. Pauken says that while he's excited about the long-term prospects of job training, he's also concerned about trends that could have a long-term effect on the economy that have been going for awhile now.

Consumers, concerned about the prospects of losing their jobs or continued recession are saving at their highest rate in nearly two decades, 6.9 % as of last month. Pauken said that while prudence is not a bad thing, people are not going to spend their way out of the recession, and employers are likewise holding on to their money, rather than investing in employees. Pauken is encouraging lawmakers to create incentives for job creation, something he says isn't out there now and hasn't been for years.

The chairman, a former Waco business owner, said the main thrust of his message is reforming the tax code to incentivize job creation and a manufacturing resurgence.

Next week, we'll look at job training in McLennan County and possibilities for stimulating job growth. For KWBU news, I'm Derek Smith.



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