The program is available to any unemployed worker or current worker whose family income is under $40,000. Those who apply at one of the twenty-five local Michigan Works agencies are assessed and trained for a job that is in demand in their local area. The goal of the program was to double the number of people in Michigan trained for needed jobs in a three year time frame. This set the bar at 100,000 which was surpassed with 102,000 workers enrolled and three months left before the deadline. Governor Granholm also announced that of the retrained workers 93 percent have been hired, a number that she is very happy with. “That’s an A in my book,” she said.
No Worker Left Behind may have met its goal and allowed for a fair amount of Michigan’s workers to either keep their jobs or get new jobs. However, the reality of the situation is that 93 percent of 102,000 workers is only 94,860 workers. With the state’s jobless rate now at 15.3 percent, Michigan has lost 300,000 jobs in the past year, making for a net loss of about 200,000 jobs. The program has certainly helped many of Michigan’s workers, but many more measures need to be taken to create new jobs for Michigan’s unemployed. Fortunately, the federal stimulus package has saved or created 19,500 additional jobs, according to a report made by the state of Michigan earlier this month. However, federal assistance won’t last forever and Michigan’s job market may continue to suffer even more.
No Worker Left Behind’s success is a bittersweet accomplishment for Michigan’s government and Governor Granholm. While it has met its intended goal and helped create or save jobs for some, the unemployment rate is a problem that cannot be solved by only one government initiative. No Worker Left Behind is only one step in a process and Governor Granholm, and her successor, will have to seek alternative ways to solve this employment crisis.