A group of self-employed workers in Texas are pushing back against a proposed change to the state’s job-training program, arguing that the program has become too costly.
The state has been working to cut the state job-placement cost for some time, but many companies are still offering a state-mandated minimum of five years of training.
That’s where the Texas Association of Business comes in, a trade group representing roughly 3,000 businesses.
In a statement to Recode, the group says it “rejects the idea that job-readiness is a job requirement” and that the current minimum training requirement “is an unfair and unsustainable policy that is forcing businesses to hire low-wage workers.”
But the group is also pushing back on the idea of a mandatory minimum.
“There’s no question that the state has increased its minimum wage, but this has also created more demand for people who have no skills, no work experience, and are struggling to find work,” the group’s CEO, Paul J. Johnson, said in the statement.
“We need to make sure we are not punishing people who are trying to work to get a job, but rather are providing a training and support that they need.”
While many of the proposed changes are aimed at helping people find jobs, some workers are also calling for a minimum of three years of job training.
A recent report from the Economic Policy Institute found that the minimum training required for the job-ready category is currently at just one year, which is less than half the amount required for jobs with advanced skills.
According to the report, the minimum required for job-skilled jobs in Texas is currently $30,000 per year, more than three times the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
The report found that only two states require that people have five years’ of job-related training, and only six states have a minimum wage above $15 per hour, with no minimum wage in the state of Florida, for example.
In an interview with Recode last year, Johnson said that he thinks the current system is a good thing, but that it is too costly and it should be phased out.
“It’s just not a viable policy, and it’s not sustainable,” Johnson said.
“There’s just too many people being put in the position of having to have to pay for the training.
That’s not a sustainable solution.”