a m e r i c a ’ s P l a n c H a P t e r 1 3 community level. 13.3 proMotInG ➤ Build a resume, write a cover letter and obtain interview preparation assistance. teLeWorK ➤ Apply for jobs, store pertinent application documents and track progress of job applications through a person- al dashboard. Soon after the September 11 attacks, letters containing anthrax ➤ Obtain detailed information on necessary job training oppor- spores were sent to Congress, forcing members of Congress tunities, providers and costs, then use the information to apply and their staffs to work from the Government Accountability for federal and state funding for these opportunities. Office (GAO) building. This displaced GAO analysts from their offices. But thanks to their government-issued laptop comput- Research shows that unemployed workers who receive ers, more than 1,000 analysts were able to continue working re-employment services land a job and exit unemployment remotely, maintaining the continuity of operations.61 insurance approximately one week sooner than those who do Telework has broader implications than mere continuity not receive such services. This results in cost savings for DOL, of operations. Jeffrey Taggart, a resident of Des Moines, Iowa, the federal government and society.60 has multiple mental and physical disabilities that make work- In this third phase of development, the platform should ing in an office difficult, if not impossible. However, thanks to serve as a medium through which the workforce development the Internet, Taggart makes a living from home as a customer community—non-profit, public and private players—can share service professional.62 best practices, initiate sector partnerships and track long-term Such stories are increasingly common as home broadband program participant outcomes through a high-level dash- access has become more widespread. From 2003 to 2008, the board. State-to-state collaboration might generate programs number of teleworkers in America increased by 43% to 33.7 that multiple states could offer together. With better tracking million people.63 One survey estimates that 14% of retirees, capabilities, the federal government could adjust funding for 31% of homemakers and 29% of adults with disabilities would programs more easily by investing in proven successes while be willing to join the workforce if given the option to telework. pulling funds from programs producing poor results. Making telework a more widespread option would potentially To develop the various versions of this tool, DOL should open up opportunities for 17.5 million individuals.64 Moreover, award “prize” funding to private sector firms that compete to the average American spends more than 100 hours per year build this employment assistance and job training platform. commuting; 3.5 million people spend more than 90 minutes DOL should work to promote these funding opportunities commuting to work each way every workday. Telework allows among SDBs to ensure that there is strong participation across workers to be more productive by eliminating their daily com- a wide range of eligible firms. DOL should also oversee product muting time. And it gives workers greater flexibility to handle development and set relevant data, content and formatting family responsibilities, attend school full time and perform standards. DOL should consider any cost savings that might more community service.65 This is particularly important for come from collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy, those living in rural areas as it can enable these workers to which is creating a virtual training software platform focused more effectively compete for jobs located elsewhere and per- initially on training materials for weatherization jobs, but form those jobs via telework.66 that may include advanced functionality that could be used to Telework solutions also help the environment. Every enhance other training content. DOL has allocated $20 million additional teleworker reduces annual CO emissions by an 2 for its virtual One-Stop project. Additional funding for the estimated 2.6–3.6 metric tons per year.67 Replacing 10% of platform should be considered in discussions related to reau- business air travel with videoconferencing would reduce car- thorization of the Workforce Investment Act. The platform’s bon emissions by an estimated 36.3 million tons annually.68 ongoing annual maintenance costs should be budgeted to pro- vide quality control, customer service and academic support, on top of technology development costs. 2 7 2 F e d e r a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n s c o m m i s s i o n | w w w . b r o a d b a n d . g o v
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