Yesterday I was privileged to visit the Greater West Town Training Program (GWTP). They are located at 500 North Sacramento in Chicago near the west end of the coach yards of the Union Pacific and Humbolt Park. It is modern facility in an older building. Their website is http://www.gwtp.edu/
This program trains at no charge to the adult students warehousing skills including running machinery such as forklifts and computers for inventory purposes. I was impressed and pleased that the course work starts with safety training. They also train on wood working skills and a have high school for those students 18 to 21 who have not previously completed a high school degree. While the courses are free to the students, they are not working during the time of training, loosing potential income, for a better life in the future.
I was most interested in their warehouse training programs. Their program is supported by federal, state, and local grants. And what those the government and the taxpayers get for their money? GWTP reports nearly 85% of their warehouse trained students find jobs upon graduation. There is a shortage of good qualified warehouse workers and it is field of high turnover. Indeed.com reports that average forklift driver wages in Chicago is $27,000, far above the minimum wage, most retail jobs wages, and certainly burger flipper wages. Wages like that go along way to lifting people out of dire poverty. The area becomes more economically viable. People who were in need of government services now will be paying taxes.
There is an effort among some so called tea party related organizations to eliminate money for job training programs. Were they to be successful, the country’s economic growth rate would be hurt and American’s businesses would not have enough potential employees they need to be successful. Let’s invest in our people for success.