In the May/June issue of the Washington Monthly, Jamie Merisotis and Stan Jones offered a plan to help the unemployed without spending a lot of money: help them earn one and two-year college credentials, fast.

What the unemployed need are colleges that combine the low-cost and public mission of community colleges with the job-focused plans of the best for-profits. There is a model public college system already up and running that does precisely that in Tennessee, with stunningly successful results. Policymakers can spread this model nationwide in a matter of months, not years, with an investment of federal money already in the budget.

The New America Foundation and the Washington Monthly are holding an event today at 9 am to discuss this new idea.

The Monthly‘s editor in chief, Paul Glastris, will moderate the discussion, and the panel will include Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation for Education; Stan Jones, president of Complete College America; Carol Puryear, the director of the Tennessee Technology Center; and James Kvaal, special assistant to President Obama on the White House National Economic Council, and the official recently choosen to be the next deputy undersecretary of education.

Because this event is now full the Monthly is hosting a live Webcast on our site from 9:00 – 10:30 am. Check it out here: http://washingtonmonthly.com/features/2010/1005.merisotis-jones.html. The event video will also be available shortly after the conclusion of the event (same URL).

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer