The federal government spends around $1.7 billion to fund the Job Corps programs at 125 centers across the nation. According to their website:
“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. For eligible young people at least 16 years of age that qualify as low income, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life.”
Supposedly the Job Corps centers have a zero tolerance policy on things like fighting and drugs. However, new allegations are surfacing that indicates that the federally funded program is not as successful as they claim to be and are not living up to their zero tolerance policies.
Some of the training facilities are plagued with violence, fights and drugs. Numerous fights at Job Corps facilities have been caught on video, yet the participants are not being disciplined as their zero tolerance policy dictates.
Hunter Donaghey, now 19 only had an 8th grade education. Figuring the local Job Corps center was his last hope, he enrolled in the North Texas Job Corps program last year. Once he arrived, he was shocked to see how much fighting took place amongst the other students. He was even attacked one day and almost choked to unconsciousness. Facility staff just looked the other way and his attacker was eventually graduated from the program instead of kicked out as policy dictates. Donaghey left the Job Corps program and said he’s nowhere with only a suitcase to his name.
Mike Jamison is a former Chicago police sergeant who worked as the chief of security at a Job Corps facility. In an interview, Jamison said:
“I’ve seen drugs, marijuana, cocaine, heroin.”
“If a kid was caught with drugs in the dormitory, if the kid was caught on campus with drugs, what I saw was they did not want that to be reported.”
In addition to the fighting and drugs, another former employee reports that he was ordered by his superiors to falsify job placement reports. Dean Tinnell was a career adviser whose job it was to help get jobs for the students upon completion of the program. However, Tinnell says that nearly 85% of the reported jobs were falsifications. Their facility had a monthly job placement goal of 75% and if they met that goal they got bonuses of $1,150 and his superiors told him to falsify the monthly reports so they would get their bonuses. If he didn’t send in the jacked up reports they would find someone else who would do it. In an interview, Tinnell said:
“I mean, I feel like it wasn’t right, but then what? What could you do when you have the upper management tellin’ you to do it?”
Ironically Tinnell was fired for falsifying the reports, even though he was instructed to do so. Jamison was also fired for not stopping the fighting or reporting the drug abuse. Both men have taken their allegations of wrong doing to the FBI who is now investigating the Job Corps programs.
Rep Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) happens to be on the board of directors for the National Job Corps Association and he defends the program, claiming the problems being reported are few and far between. He claims that 82% of those who graduate go on to jobs, further education and the military.
Yet on the national news, one instructor said that she was ordered to graduate one young man and certify that he was a trained welder even though he never attended a welding class and knew nothing about welding.
Three years ago the Labor Department’s inspector general’s office looked into the Job Corps job placement records and said that they had been inflated by at least 42%. They reported that a number of graduates ended up with low paying jobs including those in the fast food industry that they could have gotten without any training or help from the Job Corps program.
First we heard about corruption in the Veterans Administration at a number of their hospitals and now we are hearing something similar with federally funded Job Corps program. It’s just another example of how corrupt our government and society has become. Values and morals are thrown out the window in favor the almighty dollar. People’s lives and futures are trifled with just so administrators can get their bonuses, just like at the VA hospitals. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear about more government programs and departments that are doing the same thing just for their almighty bonuses. Perhaps bonuses in general should be eliminated to prevent the temptations for wrongdoing? Hmm.