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 Response Page - Samargia  Interview -      
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These comments are responses to the statements listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Jane Samargia  Interview of
03-22-2013.
 


Long-term solutions needed to move more low-income people into living-wage jobs

                                                                                                  OVERVIEW

HIRED Executive Director Jane Samargia describes her organization and its programs, which are aimed at preparing people for in-demand jobs and connecting them with local employers.  She summarizes HIRED's overall objective as helping job seekers meet both their personal and financial needs through comprehensive employment services. Case managers, housing specialists and other HIRED staff help participants overcome whatever barriers stand in the way of their job placement. Samargia outlines strategies HIRED uses to help participants with one major barrier in particular, transportation to current or potential jobs. She calls for a long-term solution to that problem that goes beyond buying bus passes and gas cards for clients.

For the complete interview summary see: http://bit.ly/17zVw5U

Response Summary: Readers have been asked to rate, on a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, the following points discussed by Jane Samargia. Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readersí zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

1. Transit options limit job access. (8.5 average response) For disadvantaged jobseekers, better-paying, suburban jobs can be impossible to access if the jobseeker has no car or if the home-to-work transit option either doesnít exist or takes too much time.

2.a. Invest in transit improvements. (8.2 average response) To improve the chances of disadvantaged workers' gaining access to the job opportunities enjoyed by middle- and upper-income workers, the state should invest in creative, strategic improvements in public transit.

2.b. Fund more gas cards, transit passes. (6.8 average response) To improve the chances of disadvantaged workers' gaining access to the job opportunities enjoyed by middle- and upper-income workers, the state should increase its funding of gas cards and transit passes.

2.c. Invest in affordable housing. (7.0 average response) To improve the chances of disadvantaged workers' gaining access to the job opportunities enjoyed by middle- and upper-income workers, the state should invest in more subsidized affordable housing nearer suburban employers.

2.d. Invest in proven training. (7.5 average response) To improve the chances of disadvantaged workers' gaining access to the job opportunities enjoyed by middle- and upper-income workers, the state should invest more in proven training programs for disadvantaged jobseekers.

3.a. Increase the minimum wage. (6.4 average response) To improve the chances of disadvantaged workers finding jobs that will allow them to afford both housing and transportation to work, the state should increase the minimum wage.

3.b. Encourage livable-wage jobs. (6.4 average response) To improve the chances of disadvantaged workers finding jobs that will allow them to afford both housing and transportation to work, the state should provide incentives to employers to hire workers at a livable wage.

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Transit options limit job access.

6%

0%

6%

25%

63%

16

2. Invest in transit improvements.

6%

0%

13%

25%

56%

16

3. Fund more gas cards, transit passes.

6%

0%

50%

6%

38%

16

4. Invest in affordable housing.

6%

13%

6%

44%

31%

16

5. Invest in proven training.

6%

0%

19%

44%

31%

16

6. Increase the minimum wage.

19%

6%

19%

19%

38%

16

7. Encourage livable-wage jobs.

13%

13%

6%

44%

25%

16

Individual Responses:

Bert LeMunyon (5) (7.5) (5) (2.5) (5) (0) (2.5)

2.d. Invest in proven training. Many of the so called middle- and upper-income workers didn't just fall into those wage brackets; they also started at entry level jobs without government help.

3.a. Increase the minimum wage. That will just reduce the number of jobs available to minimum wage job seekers.

3.b. Encourage livable-wage jobs. What employers pay their workers is governed by market forces. If everyone were to be given similar wages, there would be no incentive to improve.

Michael Martens (10) (7.5) (5) (2.5) (7.5) (0) (0)

2.a. Invest in transit improvements. The emphasis should be on creative, strategic and flexible. The location of the unemployed and jobs for them change with time. Therefore LRT cannot get workers to the door of companies except [those] downtown with some exceptions like Mall of America, United Health.

2.d. Invest in proven training. The State should contract with companies both for profit and nonprofit that have a proven record of placing their graduates in good paying jobs. The state needs to track over a 3-5 year period [whether] people stay in the jobs/companies/industry they were placed in.

3.b. Encourage livable-wage jobs. The state cannot afford to give incentives on a long-term basis to keep people employed. My fear is that after the incentives end the workers will be laid off unless the company trained them for better jobs

Chris Brazelton (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

3.b. Encourage livable-wage jobs. The better the wage, the less we need to fund in subsidizing housing, child care, medical coverage, transportation and housing. Wherever possible, higher wages means that the employer who benefits directly from the employee's labor pays the wages directly that provide for those things.

Scott Halstead (10) (10) (5) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (7.5)

1. Transit options limit job access. We have focused the majority of transit on feeding the central cities. The jobs are in the suburbs and transit is sadly lacking.

2.a. Invest in transit improvements. We are wasting vast sums of money designing, constructing and operating rail transit in the Twin Cities. Design, construction and rail equipment needs to cost less than $50 million dollars per mile, have an average of around 25 miles per hour and much more reasonable operating costs than is being achieved. We will be able to provide customers with better performance at much less cost, add additional rail transit at a faster rate, cover more geography and get central cities residents to jobs in the suburbs via rail and or better bus service.

2.c. Invest in affordable housing. The recession has lowered the housing costs in the suburbs and many disadvantaged workers have already moved.

3.a. Increase the minimum wage. Increase it moderately and index it to a Cost of Living Adjustment.

Don Anderson (10) (5) (5) (5) (5) (5) (7.5)

1. Transit options limit job access. Unfortunately companies had to locate or expand to where land was available and this moved the job opportunities from where the workers were living and they had access to public transportation.

2.a. Invest in transit improvements. That will open up the urban areas to redevelopment and the middle and upper-income people will move to the downtown areas because the entertainment and dining values are prevalent.

2.c. Invest in affordable housing. What happens to the public housing in the urban areas?

Vici Oshiro (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

2.c. Invest in affordable housing. When Burnsville Transit Center was built, adjacent land was used for high density housing which included a privately run childcare center.

3.b. Encourage livable-wage jobs. Have reached the personal conclusion that we've been talking about these problems for at least 40 years, more for some who reached an understanding of structural injustice before I did. We know what to do. Letís do it.

Dennis L. Johnson (0) (0) (0) (0) (0) (0) (0)

1. Transit options limit job access. Jane Samargia does not mention the overall program cost divided by the number of new permanent jobs found, or whether the private economy would have filled them without this program. Another well intentioned but counter-productive social program loved by liberals who do not examine the consequences.

2.a. Invest in transit improvements. This is not an investment; it is a tax

2.b. Fund more gas cards, transit passes. This is not an investment; it is a tax

2.c. Invest in affordable housing. This is not an investment; it is a tax

2.d. Invest in proven training. This is not an investment; it is a tax

3.a. Increase the minimum wage. This will have the long-term effect of reducing the overall jobs available, as employees become more costly. To compete, jobs will yield to automation or workplace elimination.

3.b. Encourage livable-wage jobs. Unless done free, this is another tax. All of the above taxes, Federal and local, lead to excess taxes, over-regulation of employment, and a sluggish economy such as we have today, thus reducing the total jobs available. The program is counter-productive in the long run, leading to higher taxes, fewer jobs, dependence on government, and bureaucratic lethargy.

Lyle Tjosaas (7.5) (7.5) (5) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (7.5)

Josh D. Ondich (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (10) (2.5) (5)

Chuck Lutz (10) (10) (10) (9) (9) (10) (8)

Mina Harrigan (10) (10) (10) (10) (5) (5) (7)

Janet Hively (8) (10) (8) (8) (8) (8) (10)

1. Transit options limit job access. Some companies facilitate the process of creating car pools through a matching process or pick carless workers up for a fee

Paul Hauge (8) (8) (5) (6) (8) (9) (8)

Mark Ritchie (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)

Well done. You should invite Sondra Samuels from Northside Achievement Zone one of these Days.

Also, a group of us are working on bringing the world's fair to MN in 2022 - that is a big project that gets people thinking more long-term.

Lyall Schwarzkopf (7) (5) (5) (6) (7) (5) (6)

Al Quie (10) (10) (5) (10) (8) (10) (3)

Bright Dornblaser (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

 

    

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   David Broden,  Janis Clay,  Bill Frenzel,  Paul Gilje,   Jan Hively,  Dan Loritz (Chair),  Marina Lyon,  Joe Mansky, 
Tim McDonald,  John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  Wayne Popham  and Bob White


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