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Commission To Recommend Creation Of National Job Program

January 12, 1987

BALTIMORE (AP) _ A presidential commission is expected to recommend Monday a national program to counsel, test and help re-train workers displaced by factory shutdowns or slowdowns.

State agencies and a special office at the Labor Department would operate the $980 million program, which has been endorsed by the White House, the Baltimore Sun reported Sunday. About a third of the program’s funding would come from existing job-training programs and the rest is requested in the president’s budget for fiscal 1988.

The commission, in a report the newspaper said is expected to be made public Monday, also calls for creation of local boards of business, labor and government officials to ease the pain of plant closings by encouraging early announcements of shutdowns and communication with the workforce.

The program, proposed by a 21-member panel, is designed in part ″to head off a stampede in Congress for protectionist (trade) legislation,″ an unidentified high-ranking administration source told The Sun.

Reagan has expressed reservations in the past about some forms of job re- training, calling them ″glorified welfare″ at one point.

Some conservatives charge that the report conflicts with efforts to hold down the budget deficit and improve the economy.

″The suggestions almost certainly would weaken U.S. businesses, thus displacing even more workers,″ said Edward L. Hudgins, an economist at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

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