Department of Labor IG report reveals Job Corps program inaccurately reports results

posted at 6:45 pm on October 5, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Yet another example of the federal government’s inefficiency. Administered by the Department of Labor, Job Corps is “a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job,” according to the program website.

Especially at a time of 9.1 percent unemployment, Job Corps sounds like a sensible program — and private charities have proved job training and job placement programs can also be highly effective. Unfortunately, a new audit by the DOL Office of Inspector General found the government-run program lacks reliable performance metrics, leaving lawmakers (and taxpayers!) with little way to evaluate whether Job Corps fulfills its purpose.

Among other things, the audit found the program often inaccurately reports results, overstating its number of rules-compliant job placements. For example, the program claimed as job training match placements 3,226 matches in which the jobs did not relate or poorly related to the students’ training, 3,778 matches in which students were enrolled in postsecondary education or training rather than jobs and 1,569 placements in jobs that required little or no previous work-related skills, knowledge or experience (“such as fast food cooks and dishwashers that potentially could have been obtained without Job Corps training,” according to the IG report). Combined, those matches represented 42.3 percent of all the matches Job Corps reported. In some cases, Job Corps failed to report results at all or to publish what results it did have.

“We believe that if Job Corps improves oversight to better recruit, train and place these students, an estimated $61.18 million would be put to better use,” the IG report states.

Job Corps’ cost per participant is $26,551 — but its cost per job placement is $76,574. Give me one of those unemployed Occupy Wall Street protesters and $76,574 and I’ll find him a job — and I have no experience as an educator or job trainer (although my mom and dad do, respectively)!

Rep. Darrell Issa calls the inspectors general of the federal government “unsung heroes” — and I agree. Little by little, they reveal the waste and inefficiency of our federal government. Occasionally, they uncover really high-dollar waste. On a relative scale, Job Corps doesn’t waste much money: What is $61.18 million in the federal budget? Peanuts! But while these numbers aren’t as sexy as the billion-and-trillion price tags of other government programs, the point is the same: The federal government will never have as much incentive to effectively manage taxpayer dollars as private businesses and organizations have to effectively manage their own money. It’s not so much that I think Job Corps should be scrapped entirely as it is that, if I had a choice, I would rather be taxed one dollar less so I could donate one dollar more to a private organization that would really do the job training trick.


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Well, stap me vitals!

OldEnglish on October 5, 2011 at 6:53 PM

“We found jobs for 4,783 applicants.”

-Yeah…uh…but only 3,000 people applied.

“Like I said, we found jobs for 4,783 applicants.”

-Did you hear me, I said only 3,000 peop…..

“Like I said, we found jobs for 4,783 applicants.”

Bishop on October 5, 2011 at 6:57 PM

“a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, “

Isn’t this what all those billions of dollars spent by the Department of Education are supposed to do?

SouthernRoots on October 5, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Obviously Barry will have to replace all those RACIST! Inspector Generals. I’m sure Holder can drum up a charge of incompetence and get them all fired. It worked before.

GarandFan on October 5, 2011 at 7:13 PM

In some cases, Job Corps failed to report results at all or to publish what results it did have.

It’s time to defund every single federal bureaucracy…

… and start from scratch.

After the military, and securing the borders…

… then we can see if there is any money for this crap.

Seven Percent Solution on October 5, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Obviously Barry will have to replace all those RACIST! Inspector Generals. I’m sure Holder can drum up a charge of incompetence and get them all fired. It worked before.

GarandFan on October 5, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Again? Obama already fired the last guy in this spot 2 years ago over the Kevin Johnson Americorp clean my car thanks scandal.

This is that guys replacement!

Freddy on October 5, 2011 at 7:48 PM

At the rate they’re sending our grandkids money down the toilet, the picture with the roll of bills should at least be Ben Franklin rather than Washington. If there is a Billion dollar bill, maybe the One’s picture should be on it.

freemarketer on October 5, 2011 at 10:40 PM

It’s not so much that I think Job Corps should be scrapped entirely

So you don’t necessarily mind subsidizing a program that can be likened to some sort of co-ed prison, with in-depth lessons in drug trafficking, primitive inking and orgies? Maybe they’ve cleaned it up in the last 15 years, but I kinda doubt it. (While I was in college, my older brother was basically given a choice between that and the military. He did not choose wisely. But he did nearly cut his hand off in shop, so he got out early.)

VerbumSap on October 5, 2011 at 10:59 PM

So you don’t necessarily mind subsidizing a program that can be likened to some sort of co-ed prison, with in-depth lessons in drug trafficking, primitive inking and orgies?

A local Job Corps of which I have considerable knowledge is much as VerbumSap describes it. Rampant drug use, astonishing rates of teenage pregnancy, useless “qualifications”, and nowhere near the supervision that parents and victims are led to believe exists. Job Corps is a fraud, and causing untold heart-ache and damage to children and to families. It’s appalling that taxpayer money should be wasted on this nonsense, and further evidence that “government is the problem.”

mr.blacksheep on October 5, 2011 at 11:30 PM

Job Corpse and all its predecessors clear back to CETA in the ’70s have had these same results. There has never been a single audit or report on the program which showed anything within several standards of deviation of what it was supposed to do, yet it is invariably funded and occasionally “reformed” by changing the name of the program.

It might better be described as the Bureaucracy Full Employment Act.

A total scam and waste of money which would create more jobs in the long run by its elimination than by continually doing what we know does not succeed, only with more money.

Adjoran on October 6, 2011 at 2:17 AM

EVERYONE even remotely associated with this administration is totally incapable of the truth. The lies and deceptions have been continuous to the point of insanity. Absolutely no accountability whatsoever for complete incompetence at every level. Scrutinize the candidates in every way possible. The country cannot exist if it repeats the horrible mistake of the 2008 election.

volsense on October 6, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Job Corps is “a free education and training program

If its free, how can there be inefficiencies in the way it manages its funding?

Oh…so its not free.

BobMbx on October 6, 2011 at 9:22 AM

A total scam and waste of money which would create more jobs in the long run by its elimination than by continually doing what we know does not succeed, only with more money.

Adjoran on October 6, 2011 at 2:17 AM

Not really. Its true function is to gather large groups of ner’do wells together, keeping them occupied during the day with physical labor thereby making them too tired to run wild at night.

Ruth “Buzzy” Ginsburg approves.

BobMbx on October 6, 2011 at 9:25 AM

In some cases, Job Corps failed to report results at all or to publish what results it did have.

I’m sure it’s all just a little misunderstanding, other than an intentional attempt to pull the wool over our eyes (cough cough).

eyedoc on October 6, 2011 at 10:39 AM