The Democrats's Job Corps blows another $11.9 billion

The problem with Democrats is that they think they can endlessly squeeze businesses for taxes and regulations, and then, as the inevitable happens, and tens of thousands of workers lose their jobs, they can just stuff the workers into retraining programs for other supposedly more abundant jobs, or better still, warehouse them on welfare, so that as newly minted beggars, they will be easier to please.

So take a gander at one of these much vaunted worker retraining programs, the Job Corps, which blew $1.7 billion per year during the Obama years (2010-2016) for a total of $11.9 billion, with a study now showing that it was pretty much a conveyor belt to welfare, not a training program to get workers better jobs.

According to the Daily Caller News Foundation, citing a new study:

A federal program dedicated to getting people jobs couldn't prove it did its own job, a government watchdog reported Tuesday.

Job Corps, which teaches adults skills that are supposed to qualify them for new professions, didn't have evidence it helped the program's graduates actually find jobs, and many often found low-paying occupations on their own, according to the Department of Labor's inspector general (IG).

"Job Corps could not demonstrate the extent to which its training programs helped participants enter meaningful jobs appropriate to their training," the report said.  The program didn't collect "information related to participants' prior employment history ... and did not provide participants with effective transition services."

The program annually spent $1.7 billion between 2010 and 2016, including $50 million to contractors tasked with getting program graduates new jobs.  The IG found "insufficient evidence demonstrating they had provided the services required by their contracts," the report said.

Job Corps couldn't prove they helped 94 percent get jobs.

"[R]ecords indicated that 306 of 324 sampled participants either found their placement without contractors' assistance or without documented assistance," the report said.

Incredibly, the problems described are the same problems the Job Corps has had in the past, back when an audit of the program was released in the first year of Obama's presidency, in 2008, and in study after study before that.  Garbage in, garbage out.  The Heritage Foundation wrote in 2008:

For a federal taxpayer investment of $25,000 per Job Corps participant,[4] the 2008 outcome study found:

  • Compared to non-participants, Job Corp participants were less likely to earn a high school diploma (7.5 percent versus 5.3 percent);[5]
  • Compared to non-participants, Job Corp participants were no more likely to attend or complete college;[6]
  • Four years after participating in the evaluation, the average weekly earnings of Job Corps participants was $22 more than the average weekly earnings of the control group;[7] and
  • Employed Job Corps participants earned $0.22 more in hourly wages compared to employed control group members.[8]

If Job Corps actually improves the skills of its participants, then it should have substantially raised their hourly wages.  However, a $0.22 increase in hourly wages suggests that Job Corps does little to boost the job skills of participants.

Other impact evaluations of Job Corps have found similar results.  In 2001, The National Job Corps Study: The Impacts of Job Corps on Participants' Employment and Related Outcomes ("2001 outcome study"), measured the impact of Job Corps on participants' employment and earnings.[9]  While the 2001 outcome study found some increases in the incomes of participants, the gains were trivial.  For example, compared to non-participants, the estimated average increase in the weekly incomes of all participants over four years was never more than $25.20.[10]

Another evaluation, The National Job Corps Study: Findings Using Administrative Earnings Records Data ("2003 study"), was published in 2003, but the Labor Department withheld it from the general public until 2006.[11]

So much for Obama's vaunted promise to get rid of redundant and ineffective programs.  Heritage found this quote from Obama in 2008:

In the coming weeks, I will be announcing the elimination of dozens of government programs shown to be wasteful or ineffective.  In this effort, there will be no sacred cows, and no pet projects.  All across America, families are making hard choices, and it's time their government did the same.[1]

Obama turned the money spigot on as fast as he could in this throw-'em-to-the-programs Democrat approach, even with full knowledge that the program was a boondoggle.

In fact, Democrats went out of their way to praise the junk program.  Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez, who was labor secretary under President Obama, was all praise for the program, even after the studies came out:

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez shared his praises of Job Corps in a radio interview with NPR host Kelly McEvers.  "I've spoken to so many employers across this country who rely on Job Corps for their pipeline," Mr. Perez stated.  "So we're making sure that, just as in our workforce system, everything we do is demand-driven – giving people skills that are relevant to today's economy.  That's exactly what we're doing in Job Corps, as well."

Here's a bit more news from last year about the lovely doings of this Democrat-vaunted program:

The Job Corps program has faced criticism for fighting, drug use and even murders at some centers.  The Labor Department's inspector general's office found in 2015 that Job Corps centers "kept potentially dangerous students in the program, exposing other students and staff to avoidable harm and preventing more committed at-risk youth from utilizing the training slots."

Now another $11.9 billion has been wasted.  And the newest studies show it's as wasteful and fraudy as ever.  Nina Easton, of Fortune magazine, a few years ago pointed out that there are 47 worker retraining programs that cost the taxpayers $18 billion a year, all overlapping each other at high cost, with none of them doing much for workers.

Washington spends more than $18 billion a year on 47 different training programs – spread across nine agencies.  What has all that bureaucracy and money bought?  Employers who complain that they can't find qualified workers – even in this market (one out of three employers, according to a recent McKinsey Global Institute survey).  As many as 3 million jobs in this country are sitting unfilled.  There is a sharp disconnect between the skills employers need and what unemployed workers have to offer – and business isn't doing nearly enough to provide training to close that gap.

Compare and contrast to President Trump's job creation program, which is to enable businesses to create jobs in a free market so that workers can take them.  That's worker retraining.

You can better the lot of workers, after all, only if there are jobs to start with.  Democrats got rid of those with their taxes and regulations.  And now they are spending more money on this junk program, which somehow still exists, what with the humongous government budget recently passed by Congress.  It's time for this scam to meet the chopping block.

The problem with Democrats is that they think they can endlessly squeeze businesses for taxes and regulations, and then, as the inevitable happens, and tens of thousands of workers lose their jobs, they can just stuff the workers into retraining programs for other supposedly more abundant jobs, or better still, warehouse them on welfare, so that as newly minted beggars, they will be easier to please.

So take a gander at one of these much vaunted worker retraining programs, the Job Corps, which blew $1.7 billion per year during the Obama years (2010-2016) for a total of $11.9 billion, with a study now showing that it was pretty much a conveyor belt to welfare, not a training program to get workers better jobs.

According to the Daily Caller News Foundation, citing a new study:

A federal program dedicated to getting people jobs couldn't prove it did its own job, a government watchdog reported Tuesday.

Job Corps, which teaches adults skills that are supposed to qualify them for new professions, didn't have evidence it helped the program's graduates actually find jobs, and many often found low-paying occupations on their own, according to the Department of Labor's inspector general (IG).

"Job Corps could not demonstrate the extent to which its training programs helped participants enter meaningful jobs appropriate to their training," the report said.  The program didn't collect "information related to participants' prior employment history ... and did not provide participants with effective transition services."

The program annually spent $1.7 billion between 2010 and 2016, including $50 million to contractors tasked with getting program graduates new jobs.  The IG found "insufficient evidence demonstrating they had provided the services required by their contracts," the report said.

Job Corps couldn't prove they helped 94 percent get jobs.

"[R]ecords indicated that 306 of 324 sampled participants either found their placement without contractors' assistance or without documented assistance," the report said.

Incredibly, the problems described are the same problems the Job Corps has had in the past, back when an audit of the program was released in the first year of Obama's presidency, in 2008, and in study after study before that.  Garbage in, garbage out.  The Heritage Foundation wrote in 2008:

For a federal taxpayer investment of $25,000 per Job Corps participant,[4] the 2008 outcome study found:

  • Compared to non-participants, Job Corp participants were less likely to earn a high school diploma (7.5 percent versus 5.3 percent);[5]
  • Compared to non-participants, Job Corp participants were no more likely to attend or complete college;[6]
  • Four years after participating in the evaluation, the average weekly earnings of Job Corps participants was $22 more than the average weekly earnings of the control group;[7] and
  • Employed Job Corps participants earned $0.22 more in hourly wages compared to employed control group members.[8]

If Job Corps actually improves the skills of its participants, then it should have substantially raised their hourly wages.  However, a $0.22 increase in hourly wages suggests that Job Corps does little to boost the job skills of participants.

Other impact evaluations of Job Corps have found similar results.  In 2001, The National Job Corps Study: The Impacts of Job Corps on Participants' Employment and Related Outcomes ("2001 outcome study"), measured the impact of Job Corps on participants' employment and earnings.[9]  While the 2001 outcome study found some increases in the incomes of participants, the gains were trivial.  For example, compared to non-participants, the estimated average increase in the weekly incomes of all participants over four years was never more than $25.20.[10]

Another evaluation, The National Job Corps Study: Findings Using Administrative Earnings Records Data ("2003 study"), was published in 2003, but the Labor Department withheld it from the general public until 2006.[11]

So much for Obama's vaunted promise to get rid of redundant and ineffective programs.  Heritage found this quote from Obama in 2008:

In the coming weeks, I will be announcing the elimination of dozens of government programs shown to be wasteful or ineffective.  In this effort, there will be no sacred cows, and no pet projects.  All across America, families are making hard choices, and it's time their government did the same.[1]

Obama turned the money spigot on as fast as he could in this throw-'em-to-the-programs Democrat approach, even with full knowledge that the program was a boondoggle.

In fact, Democrats went out of their way to praise the junk program.  Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez, who was labor secretary under President Obama, was all praise for the program, even after the studies came out:

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez shared his praises of Job Corps in a radio interview with NPR host Kelly McEvers.  "I've spoken to so many employers across this country who rely on Job Corps for their pipeline," Mr. Perez stated.  "So we're making sure that, just as in our workforce system, everything we do is demand-driven – giving people skills that are relevant to today's economy.  That's exactly what we're doing in Job Corps, as well."

Here's a bit more news from last year about the lovely doings of this Democrat-vaunted program:

The Job Corps program has faced criticism for fighting, drug use and even murders at some centers.  The Labor Department's inspector general's office found in 2015 that Job Corps centers "kept potentially dangerous students in the program, exposing other students and staff to avoidable harm and preventing more committed at-risk youth from utilizing the training slots."

Now another $11.9 billion has been wasted.  And the newest studies show it's as wasteful and fraudy as ever.  Nina Easton, of Fortune magazine, a few years ago pointed out that there are 47 worker retraining programs that cost the taxpayers $18 billion a year, all overlapping each other at high cost, with none of them doing much for workers.

Washington spends more than $18 billion a year on 47 different training programs – spread across nine agencies.  What has all that bureaucracy and money bought?  Employers who complain that they can't find qualified workers – even in this market (one out of three employers, according to a recent McKinsey Global Institute survey).  As many as 3 million jobs in this country are sitting unfilled.  There is a sharp disconnect between the skills employers need and what unemployed workers have to offer – and business isn't doing nearly enough to provide training to close that gap.

Compare and contrast to President Trump's job creation program, which is to enable businesses to create jobs in a free market so that workers can take them.  That's worker retraining.

You can better the lot of workers, after all, only if there are jobs to start with.  Democrats got rid of those with their taxes and regulations.  And now they are spending more money on this junk program, which somehow still exists, what with the humongous government budget recently passed by Congress.  It's time for this scam to meet the chopping block.