Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rep. Jan Schakowsky Announces Bill to Create 2.2 Million Jobs

The Drive For Decent Work applauds Rep. Jan Schakowsky for her leadership in developing and proposing a comprehensive job creation bill.  We expect that this bill will receive strong support from labor, religious, human needs and community-based advocacy organizations across the U.S.  We urge other House members to sign on and help build a broad base of support for this and related jobs legislation.

You can help!  Please write to your Representative and urge him/her to cosponsor the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act.

Cross-posted from Rep. Jan Schakowsky's web site:

Schakowsky Announces Bill to Create 2.2 Million Jobs
“Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act”
Estimated to Lower Unemployment Rate by 1.3%

CHICAGO, IL (August 10, 2011) – Today Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a member of President Obama’s 18-member Fiscal Commission, announced she will introduce the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act, a cost-effective plan to put over 2 million people to work for two years.

The time has come for Congress to focus like a laser on the most pressing crisis facing our country – the jobs crisis. With extended unemployment benefits scheduled to expire at the end of this year, 13.9 million people remain out of work. The average worker who is unemployed has been searching for a job for more than nine months and recent reports reveal that private sector employers largely refuse to hire those currently jobless. An additional 8.4 million are working part time because they cannot find a full-time job. In June 2007, 63 percent of adults were employed, now the percentage is 58.2 percent. Despite reports of a Congress immobilized and unable to address the jobs crisis– Congress can and must do something today.

“It begins with this simple idea: If we want to create jobs, then create jobs. I’m not talking about “incentivizing” companies in the hopes they’ll hire someone, or cutting taxes for the so-called job creators who have done nothing of the sort. My plan creates actual new jobs,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “The worst deficit this country faces, isn’t the budget deficit. It’s the jobs deficit. We need to get our people and our economy moving again.”

If enacted, the legislation would create 2.2 million jobs that will meet critical needs to improve and strengthen communities:

•The School Improvement Corps would create 400,000 construction and 250,000 maintenance jobs by funding positions created by public school districts to do needed school rehabilitation improvements.

•The Park Improvement Corps would create 100,000 jobs for youth between the ages of 16 and 25 through new funding to the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service’s Public Lands Corps Act. Young people would work on conservation projects on public lands include restoration and rehabilitation of natural, cultural, and historic resources.

•The Student Jobs Corps would creates 250,000 more part-time, work study jobs for eligible college students through new funding for the Federal Work Study Program.

•The Neighborhood Heroes Corps would hire 300,000 teachers, 40,000 new police officers, and 12,000 firefighters.

•The Health Corps would hire at least 40,000 health care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and health care workers to expand access in underserved rural and urban areas.

•The Child Care Corps would create 100,000 jobs in early childhood care and education through additional funding for Early Head Start.

•The Community Corps would hire 750,000 individuals to do needed work in our communities, including housing rehab, weatherization, recycling, and rural conservation.

The legislation gives the unemployed priority for jobs, particularly those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits (the “99ers”), and veterans. The bill allocates a fair distribution of funding and jobs among states, with targeting based on high unemployment and need. The bill also ensures that jobs do not undercut the rights of other workers, lower wages, displace current workers or take business from small/local businesses.

The $227 billion cost of the bill ($113.5 billion over each of two years) can be fully paid for through separate legislation such as Rep. Schakowsky’s Fairness in Taxation Act, which creates higher tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires, and eliminating subsidies for Big Oil and tax loop holes for corporations that send American jobs overseas.


CONTACT: Adjoa Adofo; 202.225.2111, adjoa.adofo [at]

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Underemployment a Growing Concern | United States

Underemployment a Growing Concern | United States | Epoch Times

by Paul Darin, 8/9/11

"...Should I give up? I’m looking into other things with a history degree, but I can’t afford to go back to school,” said 27-year-old Amanda Dovatte. She graduated from Lewis University with a History Education degree in December 2007, and is substitute teaching in Naperville, Ill., awaiting any instructional opening.

“I don’t know what to do. [We were told] go to school, get an education, and you’ll get a job. That’s not happening. Having a degree doesn’t matter anymore,” said Dovatte.

She wants the government to address the problems of jobs for educated people. “I want politicians to start worrying about creating jobs, and not just construction worker jobs, but firefighters, police, and teachers. I want them to start worrying about the people who went to school,” said Dovatte."

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A bold, new U.S. jobs bill would stop a double-dip recession

A bold, new U.S. jobs bill would stop a double-dip recession -

by Robert Reich, 8/9/11

"...We’re now poised on the edge of a double-dip — and have our hands tied behind our back because of a phony debt crisis and a misleading view that the first stimulus failed.":

"The hope: voters tell their members of Congress — now on recess — to stop obsessing about future budget deficits and get to work on the real crisis of unemployment, falling wages and no growth. Demand a bold jobs bill to restart the economy."

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Friday, August 5, 2011

FAST: Fix America’s Schools Today

Here's a good job creation idea, from former White House advisor Jared Bernstein, who now works at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

Cross-posted from Americans for Democratic Action
FAST: Fix America’s Schools Today

By: Bob Lucore
June 24, 2011

How about an economic stimulus that creates lots of jobs quickly, contributes to a greener environment, makes kids healthier and improves the lives of both students and teachers?

A national program to repair and improve public school buildings could do all this and more, at a tiny fraction of the cost of extending tax cuts for the mega-rich. It would be a short-term stimulus with long-term benefits.

Jared Bernstein—Vice President Biden’s former economic advisor, now at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities—has come up with a catchy name for it: FAST (Fix America’s Schools Today). There is a huge backlog of needed maintenance for America’s public schools. Students move their desks to dodge falling ceiling tiles, bathroom plumbing doesn’t function, roofs leak, and children suffer from asthma due to sick building syndrome. People Magazine says teachers are thwarted “by school buildings that are dirty, disheartening and dangerous.”

America’s public school infrastructure got a D grade on a recent report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Students are under continuous pressure to pass high-stakes tests and teachers get the blame if students fall short of ever rising performance goals. Don’t they both deserve clean, green, desirable facilities?

Spending to clean, repair, and insulate the schools could generate jobs rapidly. The money could be targeted since the schools most in need are tend to be in the areas with the highest rates of joblessness. Furthermore, many of the jobs created would not require formal training.

Bernstein puts it this way: “It’s a smart way to get a lot of people who really need jobs back to work, fix a critical part of our institutional infrastructure, save energy costs, provide kids with a better, healthier learning environment, and do so in way that everyone can see and feel good about each morning when they drop their kids at school.” Which would you rather spend public money on: better schools, or more tax cuts for the top 2%?

Link to original post

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