The Spectacle Blog

Labor I.G. on Green Jobs Programs

By on 10.3.11 | 9:59AM

Well, look at this, on this first business day since the Obama administration rushed literally billions more taxpayer/borrowed dollars out the door to Solyndra-style 'green jobs' schemes, by which I mean politically selected projects to create market-unworthy goods or projects at spectacularly high per-job -- that's per-temporary-job -- cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars. After all, deadlines must be met when a politician and bureaucrat's window to spend other peoples' money is what expires. 

The Department of Labor has some disturbing, if not at all surprising, conclusions about 'green job' training schemes, which also were recipients of massive stimulus booty, if absurdly and suspiciously designed to a) do the jobs that unions used to put their dues to, before the current arrangement to put them to politicians instead, and b) to train potential workers in fields that don't and won't exist or else for the highly specialized tasks of retraining to install low-flo shower heads and toilets instead of the real kind.

Really. Hey, remember, Obama promised this when he said in a campaign stump speech in College Park, Maryland, that "We will hire young people who don't have a trade and give them a trade making homes more energy efficient, insulating homes, changing light bulbs...". Cue South Park parody, "We didn't listen!"

The summary is available here, the full report here.

Low-lights include that, "of the $500 million provided, ETA retained $9.9 million for services such as program administration and technical assistance, and awarded $490.1 million as follows: $435.4 million for three training programs, $48.9 million for labor market information, and $5.8 million to develop capacity." 

"Grantees have reported expending $162.8 million (33 percent) of the amounts awarded, with about 73 percent of the grant time having elapsed" -- what, a deadline? I smell a rush coming on! -- "As of June 30, 2011, $327.3 million remained unexpended. Moreover, the rate of training grant expenditures for the most recent period has decreased." Yep.

Limited Performance Targets Achieved: ETA and grantees have reported achieving limited performance targets for serving and placing workers. Grantees have reported serving 52,762 (42 percent) of the targeted 124,893 participants with 61 percent of training grant periods having elapsed, and have reported placing 8,035 participants (10 percent) into employment out of the target of 79,854 participants 17 months after the grants were awarded. 

Of the 52,762 participants served, grantees reported that 20,818 (39 percent) were individuals who already have jobs and enrolled in training in order to retain their jobs, obtain new work, or otherwise upgrade their skills. 

In addition, ... grantees have expressed concerns that jobs have not materialized and that job placements have been fewer than expected for this point in the grant program.

Training grantees reported placing 8,035 participants and have reported 1,336 participants retained employment for at least 6 months, or 2 percent of the targeted employment retention of 69,717 participants. 

...ETA could not demonstrate that grantees were on target to meet grant outcomes nor was there a plan to ensure that they could. ...with 61 percent of the training grant periods elapsed, only 10 percent of participants entered employment.

At this point, there is no evidence that grantees will effectively use the funds and deliver targeted employment outcomes by the end of the grant periods. With no evidence to support grantees were on target to meet outcomes, grantees may not assist those most impacted by the recession and achieve performance outcomes such as placements within the time limits set by grant agreements.

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