That one in seven Americans or 44 million are living below the poverty( as of September 2010) line is somber news. Of this number I guess at least 20% were added during the 2007-8 recession corresponding to households of the 4 million who lost jobs. Those who lost jobs obviously had skills that were not in demand locally and low home prices did not allow a quick “sell and move” to parts of the country or overseas where those skills would be well regarded.
IBM tried Project Match which this blog had some reservations about but in hindsight it was not such a bad thing. Moving is hard but it does open up great new opportunities. Here organizations can help with career transition and outplacement services to overseas supplying organizations and subsidiaries.
Similarly public policy should actively encourage moves to wherever work is, by covering moving and relocation costs and setting off the public expense of trying to support the skilled person at a location where the skill may take time to deploy. Depending on economic recovery, or may never get a chance to flourish again.
Thus,focussing on folks that have skills but simply need re-location could be an idea to consider.