Chao: Job Training Is Key in Global Economy

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao said the Bush Administration views the global economy as an opportunity to help American workers take the lead in competitiveness.

She said the Labor Department would do its part by strengthening job-training initiatives. Chao said workers should have self-managed accounts to pay for job training.

“We need to replace the old approach that doesn’t work,” Chao said.

Chao said one of the greatest areas of concern is to match skills of workers with opportunities. The United States is doing much better than Europe — where Germany and France have unemployment rates of 10% — but there are still other ways to improve.

“If his proposals are enacted,” she said, “they’re gong to ensure our nation’s workers are among most competitive and creative in the world.”

When asked how many jobs she expected President Bush’s initiatives would create, she quipped: “Government doesn’t create jobs, the private sector does.”

She said the government needed to create means for workers, as well as making the tax cuts permanent and offering health-savings account. Both proposals, Chao said, would help Americans’ financially.