OJT = BS

Rhode Island State House The Rhode Island Ethics Commission has determined that State Senator John J. Tassoni Jr. may participate as a mediator in the state’s master-price agreement which lists fees as $125 per hour, or $1000 per day. This despite the fact that Tassoni lacks one of the minimum requirements for participation — a college degree.

But Carcieri lawyers ruled, and Director of Administration Gary Sasse agreed, that the totality of Tassoni’s experience qualified him to be on the list.

Mr. Tassoni does not seem to understand the difference between educational requirements and life experience, both of which have value on employment applications, stating “I’ve had OJT — on-the-job training.” Rhode Island’s unemployment rate hovers around 13%, with the state still being the largest employer. I predict that within a year this mediation list will be bulging with the usual Little Rhody cohort of lazy in-laws, simple-minded cousins, serial ex-cons, and of course all the people who already work full-time for the state. (ProJo)

Sign me up — I got tons of ‘totality’!

3 thoughts on “OJT = BS”

  1. Annie Messier

    I agree that college isn’t for everyone, but there -are- ways to obtain a degree without going broke, including having employers reimburse the cost. An employer paid for my master’s degree–why couldn’t Tassoni secure a bachelor’s in a similar fashion? I’m not saying people without degrees can’t have professional careers or aren’t smart enough to perform tasks (from other posts you’ve made here, Mangeek, I’m pretty sure you’re a much brighter bulb than I am!), but he -is- bringing in a paycheck I could only dream of without meeting a minimum requirement. That’s a special pass that many of us don’t get, and I think it’s good to question such things when they involve public funds.

  2. I’m no fan of Tassoni, I’m no fan of the Ethics Commission, and I’m no fan of Carcieri, but requiring a college degree to be a mediator is silly if the person has the right experience.

    I myself bailed-out of school in 2001 when I realized that I’d be better off just going right to work, and I’ve been working jobs that ‘require a college degree’ since 2004. Not only was I able to get ahead faster without taking four years out of work, I don’t have $100K of debt to service, which means that I could save for retirement and do stuff like buy a house much earlier than most of my college-graduating friends.

    I think for most people, the value of a ‘college degree’ is overrated given the economics of it. Four years apprenticing or working at a few trades (and getting -paid- for it) is much more appropriate than the model of ‘college for everyone’ that our schools are pushing so hard. I’m not advocating that people don’t get them, but they should weigh their options and choose the best one, not the one that is being pushed on them.

    Life without a degree isn’t as bleak as parents and teachers say it is, especially when their experience comes from a time when you could graduate debt-free if you flipped some burgers after class. Times have changed, and for most people, taking on massive debt loads to acquire a degree that doesn’t prepare or qualify one for a specific trade just doesn’t make sense.

  3. Annie Messier

    Huh. There’s a state law outlawing the awarding of a college diploma based solely on life experience (I understand this isn’t the same thing, but still–ignoring the requirements set by an ethics commission seems a slippery slope in a state already notorious for corruption and nepotism). I hope this guy is reeeeally good.

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