Should a university hire a former governor that oversaw an almost-eight percent spike in unemployment to teach a class about job growth? Probably not.
Yet, that’s exactly what the University of Cal-Berkeley did when they hired Jennifer Granholm, the former Michigan governor who oversaw the downfall of Detroit, the auto industry, and burgeoning unemployment throughout the state.
This fall, the former two-term Democratic governor is teaching a graduate course on “job growth” that is focused on “creating jobs through better government policies.”
However, during Granholm’s eight-year governorship, the state’s unemployment rate skyrocketed from 6.6 percent (Jan. 2003) to 14.2 percent (Aug. 2009), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (see chart below). The national average, during the same period of time, rose from 5.8 percent to 9.6 percent.
The unemployment rate rounded out at 11 percent when she left office in January, 2011, which was two points higher than the national average.
The course aims to develop “clean energy job creation strategies” while helping to “launch The American Jobs Project at UC Berkeley.”
“The American Jobs Project (AJP) will focus on a bottom-up strategy of stoking jobs policy in the states, designing the road-map for each state to create innovative energy job clusters in the advanced energy and manufacturing job sectors,” according to the schools course preview (see below).
Ironically, as Granholm looks to teach students how to increase job growth through clean energy strategies, Michigan consumed 54 percent of its energy from coal during 2013, which is brought in via rail from Montana and Wyoming.
(H/T: Michigan Review)