A new program puts those collecting unemployment to work – without pay.

In response to rising unemployment levels, the Department of Labor in the state of Georgia has created an innovative program to stimulate job growth and hiring.

The program allows for those who are collecting unemployment to receive workplace training from a potential employer for a maximum of 24 hours per week for up to six weeks.

Similar to an internship, the unemployed can gain experience at a new location or in a new field with the hopes of being hired on permanently at the conclusion of the six weeks. According to the Georgia Works Web site, 60 percent of those trained have been hired.

The program boasts benefits to employers:
1. Pre-screened qualified individuals
2. Up to six weeks of pre-employment training
3. Trainee stipends covered by GDOL
4. Hiring of trainees at discretion of employers
5. Workers’ compensation coverage provided by GDOL

And benefits to those unemployed:
1. Job-specific training
2. Opportunity to “get a foot in the door”
3. Demonstration of skills and talents
4. $300 maximum training stipend (an average of $50 per week) in addition to UI benefits

What’s your take? Would this program be successful in California? What are your thoughts on the program?

Post your comments below or e-mail the editor at jspencer@publicceo.com