In addition to inner city blacks not having feasible transportation to suburban jobs nor the skills (i.e academic and workplace skills learned through formal training and education scenarios) to participate in the technologically advancing information based labor market, several other barriers are present which prevent them from obtaining jobs when they become available. Kirschenman and Neckerman (1991); Turner, Fix, and Struyk (1991); Hill, Rittenhouse, and Allison (1994) list these barriers as being low wage/low benefit employment opportunities (entry-level occupations) in the central city, lack of information about job openings and their locations, lack of basic workplace competencies (i.e. not knowing what employers expect of them while in the workplace such as proper dress, being to work on time, being at work everyday, resource and time management, and problem-solving skills), and “institutionalized” business hiring and promotion practices.
These barriers prove to be difficult public policy dilemmas because programs such as affirmative action and minority set-asides, and education and skills training are often narrowly scoped and poorly implemented. For example, Lafer (1992) found that education and skills training programs for inner city residents in New York City were ineffective because while they trained inner city residents, there were no nearby jobs for program graduates to take. Thus, while these programs focused on much needed skills training, they were criticized as a waste of resources because they failed to improve the employment status of program participants. Yet, if the programs had been broader in scope and incorporated methods to ensure jobs were available to graduates (by either getting graduates to jobs or by bringing jobs to the graduates), then they might have been much more effective and not open to as much criticism. By adding a broader vision, these types of programs could be expanded in metropolitan areas. But as it stands now, programs designed solely for training participants are becoming harder to fund and promote politically.