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Experts to examine pros and cons of Georgia Works

10:33 AM, Nov 2, 2011   |    comments
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Job fair

ATLANTA -- A popular plan to create jobs in Georgia will go under the microscope Wednesday during a special conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

"Georgia Works" is getting national attention, but it has some critics who say the program is too expensive.

The conference will bring together employers, job-seekers and labor experts to focus on how to get people out of unemployment lines.

They'll focus on whether Georgia Works really is the answer.

The program is designed to give the unemployed temporary work so they can get a foot in the door and a chance to build their skills.

Since it started in 2003, 25 percent of trainees stayed on with their companies in permanent jobs, while another 60 percent found work with other companies within 90 days of their training.

"President Obama has proposed nationalizing the Georgia Works strategy by appropriating 10 billion dollars. It's been endorsed by Speaker John Boehner, as well as Republican and Democratic officials," said former Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond.

President Obama has used Georgia Works as the basis of his "Bridge to Work" program, which he's selling to crowds across the country.

Critics complain many of the jobs created are low-wage or temporary.

The program is also expensive to run because it pays trainees a stipend in addition to their unemployment benefits.

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