What Jobs Do You Want to Train Low-Skill People For?

Debates about the community benefits from private development projects always seem to end in calls for ill-defined “job training programs”, because well-meaning people often scoff at the service industry jobs that will be created as if they aren’t *real* jobs. I always wonder what other jobs people are expecting low-skill folks to get.

Michael Molovinsky improves this discussion by turning the absurdity up to 11:

As for jobs in the NIZ, you can sell peanuts at the arena. You will not be trained as a banker for the new Penn National Headquarters. You will not be trained as a physician at the Lehigh Valley Sports Medicine Center. You will not be trained as an engineer at the Air Products division moving into J.B. Reilly’s new City Center Office Building. However, money will be contributed to Alan Jenning’s Community Development Company for a few start ups, maybe even one or two in the promise land. Lehigh County Community College will get funded for more training classes.

When you scoff at jobs in food service, construction, retail, dry-cleaning, fitness instruction, hair cutting, health care and other staples of the non-tradable urban economy, what exactly is the alternative you’re envisioning? Are you expecting low-skill people to be trained as bankers? What is it?


  1. Perhaps we should entice a steel mill to locate downtown.

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