No, you're saying. This has to be a joke. Would anyone actually suggest that junior colleges can retrain welfare clients to do COBOL programming? Yes. It's a proposed solution in Virginia. This story appeared in the WASHINGTON TIMES (May 27, 1997).
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The consulting firm Coopers & Lybrand reports that the Virginia Health and Human Resources Department staff has seized on a new idea for relieving the welfare burden: put recipients to work solving "the year 2000 problem," the potential havoc that the date shift from '99 to '00 will wreak on older computer systems.
The department is working with community colleges to train welfare recipients in the programming languages Cobol and Fortran so they can go to work immediately in skilled jobs, the firm said in Knowledge Knowhow, its "journal on mamagement leadership."