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Obama Squandered Big Bucks On Green Jobs Programs: Inspector General‏ – OpEd

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The Obama administration released a disturbing report on Friday that revealed hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars poured into a program that failed to achieve its goals and was discriminatory against women, whereby 84 percent of the beneficiaries were men.

The report regarding an internal investigation conducted by the Inspector General of the Department of Labor increases suspicion of the ineffectiveness of the Obama administration’s Green Jobs Training Program, according to members of the House of Representative.

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“As is customary in the nation’s capital, bad news is always released on Friday so it gets a minimal amount of news media and public attention,” said political strategist Jerry Norstrom.

According to the report, specifically requested by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), the IG confirmed suspicions that the Labor Department has further “squandered taxpayer money since the program was flagged by the IG last year.”

“The green jobs training program belongs in the long list of the [Obama] administration’s bad investments including the bankruptcies of Solyndra, Beacon Power, Abound, and just this month, A123,” said Chairman Issa.

“Not only was the program poorly thought-out, mismanaged and dysfunctional, but it served as a slush fund to reward friends of the Obama Administration. Millions of dollars went to groups like the National Council of La Raza, the Blue Green Alliance and the US Steelworkers union,” Issa stated.

The BlueGreen Alliance unites 14 of the nation’s largest labor unions and environmental organizations, according to its web site.

The House Oversight Committee has held three hearings and sent multiple inquiries about the $500 million stimulus-funded “green” program and the program’s abysmal results, according to Rep. Issa.

The IG’s investigation revealed that the DOL trained more criminals than veterans: 9 percent of the people who received training (about 10,000 individuals) had criminal records, while 7 percent were veterans. Out of a target of 81,254, grantees collectively reported only 30,857 participants (38 percent) entered employment.

For many people who received training, it was not beneficial: Of the 81,354 participants who completed training, 42,322 (52 percent) already had jobs. According to the IG, “Grantees were authorized to train incumbent workers who needed training to secure full-time employment, advance their careers, or retain their current jobs. However, for the 81 incumbent workers we identified in our sample, we found no evidence that they needed green job training for any of these purposes.”

The program didn’t broadly increase employment: Three and a half years since the stimulus was signed, this $500 million program has only placed 11,613 individuals (16 percent of the goal) into jobs that have been retained for more than 6 months. Only 38 percent, or 30,857, were placed into employment at all.

The training was often between one and five days long: According to the report: “Of the 81,354 participants who completed training through the Green Jobs program, 47 percent (38,366 participants) received 5 days or less of training, of which 21 percent (17,374 participants) received only 1 day of training.”

Furthermore, “Of the total 30,857 reported as entered employment, 4,874 were for participants who received only 1 day of training. This included 3,213, or 66 percent of incumbent workers who were reported as entered employment after only 1 day of training.”

Obama’s DOL disproportionately trained men: 84 percent of trainees were male, according to the report. This is direct contrast to what the President says on the campaign trail when he exploits the “war on women.”

The results are likely even worse than they appear: The IG report states, “The sampled grantees were unable to provide documentation for 24 percent of sampled participants reported as entered employment. Moreover, they could not provide documentation for 33 percent of sampled participants reported as entering training-related employment and 44 percent of sampled participants tested for retention.”



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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, and he's a columnist for Examiner.com. In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.

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