Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe say that instead of layoffs, workers need to be retrained in an effort to speed up the U.S. economic recovery.
Bush, a Republican, and McAuliffe, a Democrat, made their comments in a column posted by USA Today on Thursday.
“Drastic change is upon us as a country and as a world,” they said. “We are facing unemployment levels last seen during the Great Depression, overnight tens of millions of Americans have been laid off or furloughed, and all signs point to scores more facing a similar fate in the coming months."
The two said the U.S. must “abandon” its usual approach for something more innovative.
“If we can mobilize within employers, by providing training or learning leaves (paid or unpaid leave paired with a training, education or skill development opportunity), the costs of this recession will be minimized, the return on investment improved and the skills gap closed,” they said.
“We hope that employers and policymakers will consider learning leaves as a bold new approach to avoid unnecessary pain in the near term, and a way to invest in the long-term future of the workforce.”
They said the length of a learning leave can vary.
“Companies can use them strategically to fill their skill gaps and upgrade employees to qualify for hard-to-fill, high-skilled roles,” said the two ex-governors.
And they noted: “We believe in, and need, an American recovery that is swift — one where workers find higher pay and higher purpose, and our employers become better equipped for the future of work.”
Jeffrey Rodack ✉
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
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