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GOV’T WASTE & FRAUD: $18 Billion a Year on Duplicate, Ineffective and Fraudulent Job Training Programs

Posted by FactReal on February 9, 2011

A newly released Government Accountability Office (GAO) report exposes more misuse of our taxpayer money by government on duplicate, inefficient and fraudulent federally funded job training programs. “The federal government spends $18 billion a year on 47 separate job training programs run by nine different agencies…Managing that patchwork of federal programs is a network of 575 business-led local workforce boards running 1,300 one-stop job centers,” USA Today reports.

GAO found most programs are duplicates and/or lack demonstrable results: All but three of the 47 programs overlap with at least one other program in that they provide similar services to similar populations – yet maintain separate administrative structures. Little is known about the effectiveness of most programs.

Examples of waste, mismanagement and even corruption in the job training programs:
– Some seeking job training, for example, spent their days sitting on a bus.
– Others were given training for jobs that didn‘t exist, or were paid to sit through educational sessions about jobs they already had.
– Funds were misspent to pay a contractor for “ghost employees” and to purchase video games.
– Job training administrators spent federal funds on extravagant meals and bonuses for themselves.
– In one state, workforce agency employees took more than 100 gambling trips to casinos mostly during work hours.
– Elsewhere, a state employee steered federal job training funds to her son, a convicted criminal, who spent it on hotel stays, a $300 bar tab, cigars and pet care.
– High school students were knowingly exposed to the cancer causing agent asbestos as part of a job
training program.

Detailed Examples: (Hat tip: Sen. Coburn Report)

  • Job Training to Sit on a Bus: In San Francisco, California, graduates of a federally-funded job training program recalled receiving “little training” and having been paid to “sit on a bus.”
  • Ghost Employees: As youth unemployment soared, a U.S. Department of Labor official was sentenced for approving invoices for a Job Corps contractor – some of which she knew to be false and which billed for ghost employees – in exchange for monetary bribes and a vehicle.
  • Job Training Funds for the Already Employed: In Oregon, local companies used federal job training money to pay for training sessions to help the already employed carry out projects.
  • Job Training for a Jobless Field: New Jersey was forced to end a $4 million federally funded weatherization job training program after a lack of job demand left trainees without prospects – only seven of the 184 aspiring workers that received training found work in the field.
  • Tampa Bay Binge: The Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance in Florida used federal job training funds for self-indulgent binges on food and other extravagances, including: lunch at Hooters, valet parking for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory (topped with $9 dollar slices of cheesecake), $20 delivery fees for cupcakes, $443.99 on flowers, 300 koozie drink holders and more.
  • State Job Training Executives Scheme Bonuses, Frequent Casinos During Work: Iowa workforce executives conspired to enrich themselves with $1.8 million in bonuses – paid for with federal funds – while engaging in sexual relationships and frequenting casinos during work.
  • Grants to Admitted Thief: In West Virginia, Martin Bowling – an admitted thief with a long rap sheet – was the primary beneficiary of a $100,000 federal worker training grant, and was put up for another federal job training grant worth $1 million by his mother, a state official at the time.
  • Luring Youth to Remove Asbestos: A now-defunct California company benefiting from federal funding “knowingly exposing high school students to the cancer-causing agent asbestos under the guise of involving the students in work experience and job training programs.”
  • $4 for Us, $1 for Workers: A Montana trade union, tasked with managing a half million dollar federal job re-training grant, was found to have spent four times as much on salaries than on actual training of displaced workers.
  • Unsafe Conditions, Expired Food, Filth and Cockroaches at Job Corps Facility: Federal investigators found fly riddled garbage, dead cockroaches and other unsafe conditions at the Gainesville, Florida Job Corps operated by DEL-JEN Incorporated. Significant incidents, such as physical assault, and weapons and narcotics possession, also were not reported.

Coburn Report
Government Accountability Office (GAO) report


One Response to “GOV’T WASTE & FRAUD: $18 Billion a Year on Duplicate, Ineffective and Fraudulent Job Training Programs”

  1. […] GOVERNMENT WASTING TAXPAYER MONEY Last month, the General Accounting Office (GAO) found $18 Billion a year on duplicate, ineffective and fraudulent job training programs. […]

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