Only 12 percent of business executives are aware of the year-old federal Private Sector Initiative Program to hire and train disadvantaged persons and only 14 percent of those to whom the program was described said it sounded "like a great idea."
Another 10 percent of 809 business people polled in the survey for the National Alliance of Business said the program was "a poor idea" while 70 percent said it sounded good, but they wanted to "wait and see."
Results of the survey, to determine the private sector's opinion of the program, were released yesterday at a press conference by Labor Secretary Ray Marshall.
When asked why only 12 percent of the executives knew about the program, Marshall said that "many, many more know about (the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) and the Private Sector Initiative is part of CETA. It's hard to get new programs across to people."
Under the PSIP, the government will pay to train the disadvantaged and the employers will design the training. The PSIP activities in a community will be handled by a Private Industry Council in the area run by employers. The government also is offering tax credits as incentives to firms that hired the hard to employ.
Despite reports about CETA fund abuses, the survey concluded that 42 percent had "fair to good" experiences with hires from government sources such as CETA but only 3 percent had "excellent experiences. Thirteen percent had poor experiences with hires from government sources, the survey said.
According to the survey 62 percent of the businesses had used government-funded training programs.Thirty-two had used CETA workers and of those 18 percent were satisfied with the CETA employes and 9 percent were not.Most of those using CETA workers were companies with 600 or more employes, the survey said. Seventy-two percent of those who have used CETA workers in the past said they would use CETA employes again.
"I was pleasantly surprised that not more (firms) had been turned off by (CETA) that there were," Marshall said in response to a question yesterday.
The PSIP provisions most desirable by the business executives were the tax credit of up to $3,000 per worker during the first year, funding for company on-the-job training programs, simplification of paperwork by the Private Industry Council and government-funded training for specific local jobs, the survey said.
The provisions rated attractive, but most unlikely was reduced turnover through a better match of workers and jobs.