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More Stimulus Waste: Green Jobs Training Program Fails to Create Jobs

Just over three years ago, Vice-President Joe Biden announced a new $500 million stimulus funded jobs training program.  The new initiative would be aimed at training unemployed workers to compete and attain employment in the administration's coveted field of 'green jobs'.  At the time of his announcement, Biden stated that the program would create "real live jobs for a real live future". 

Fast-forward to today, and a new audit provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General indicates that the program provides little more than a reminder that stimulus spending has been overburdened with rampant waste - all on the taxpayer's dime.

The green jobs training initiative has been no different, begging the question - How was the stimulus bill ever going to create jobs, when the administration couldn't even train people for them?

'Real live jobs', it turns out, has been less than real, and severely lacking in jobs.

The new report concludes that the training program had “been limited in terms of reported employment outcomes.”

That would be an understatement.

The audit according to the Washington Times, not only summarizes the green jobs training program as a failure for job creation, it details the scope of that abject failure.

“President Obama’s green jobs training program, which was part of his stimulus, has failed on most key jobs measures, according to a new internal audit that found it was training workers who already had jobs that didn’t need green energy skills, and was failing to place new enrollees in jobs once they finished the training.” 

The program aimed to have placed over 81,000 enrollees into jobs, but fell far short of that goal.  While 30,857 people did find employment - roughly 38% of the target number - a good portion of those individuals were already employed and simply found another position.  

The Hill reported:

“More than half of the 81,354 people that completed training in the stimulus program already had jobs, the report said. In a sample of 81 enrollees who already had jobs, the investigators ‘found no evidence that they needed green job training’ to reach program goals of obtaining full-time employment, career advancement or job retention.”

Worse, that 38% share of individuals who gained employment showed little if any staying power, with only 16% able to keep their jobs for at least six months.

All told, the program fell 84% below its own goal of job creation.

Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, provided this conclusion:

“’The green jobs training program belongs in the long list of the Administration’s bad investments including the bankruptcies of Solyndra, Beacon Power, Abound, and just this month, A123,’ 

The Obama administration has continually thrown money into spurring economic development in the ‘green jobs’ industry.  More often than not, funds rarely hit their intended target, rarely generate tangible job growth, and rarely succeed by any measure. 

This is yet another example of government waste that yields little in the way of actual benefits to the American economy.  Taxpayers watch repeatedly as their green money is used to invest in green jobs, while the perpetual waste is making everyone see red.