Train While You Claim

I was pleased to see that, in the Presidential debate in South Carolina Monday night, Newt Gingrich came out in support of a proposal I presented in testimony before Congress on February 2011. It deals with the issue of extended unemployment benefits and is called “train while you claim.” Here is an excerpt from that testimony:

"I recommend that, as a condition for receiving extended unemployment benefits, recipients would have an option to “Train While They Claim. Those without a high school diploma could choose to study for their GED. UI claimants in that category would be entitled to first priority for participation in existing federally funded Adult Basic Education programs. Those with a high school degree, but lacking specific vocational training, would be able to receive job skills training. Again, this would not require an increase in federal funding, but simply give claimants top priority to participate in existing federally funded training programs. Alternatively, those who don’t choose to get a GED or receive additional skills training would be required to gain additional on-the-job experience or training by volunteering for community service work for public institutions or approved non-profits like Habitat for Humanity. Those who refuse to participate in one of these three options would no longer be entitled to receive extended unemployment benefits."

To me, this is a commonsense approach for providing the unemployed with additional skills while they look for work as well as dropping from the rolls of those who want to “game the system.” The full testimony to the Subcommittee of Human Resources of the House Ways and Means Committee can be found here.


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