Category Archives: Job.Training

County services for disabled moving to private providers

Source: Rita Price, Columbus Dispatch, October 30, 2017
 
Federal rule changes about case management and Medicaid payments are forcing county disabilities boards throughout the state to privatize and outsource many of their remaining programs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has mandated “conflict-free case management” by 2024 in Ohio, which means counties cannot be both the coordinator and the provider of services paid with Medicaid waiver funds.  But county boards still must pay for services and put up the local share of the Medicaid match — in Franklin County, more than $60 million a year for adult waiver services. Medicaid waivers provide money for community-based services so that people don’t have to be in an institution to get the care and programs they need. … Some 300 members of the county’s adult-services staff are to become ARC Industries employees in January 2019. … ARC is the disabilities program that provides job training, workshop employment, transportation and other services. Although ARC already was a nonprofit employer for people with disabilities, the workshops and programs have been staffed by county employees. Early childhood and school programs can continue to be operated by the board because they’re not funded through Medicaid waivers. … Initially, Morison said, the board’s costs might increase as a new infrastructure is established. He expects it to even out in coming years. …

Stanislaus County leaders poised to privatize career services for adults and young people

Source: Ken Carlson, Modesto Bee, April 4, 2016

Stanislaus County supervisors could eliminate the Workforce Investment Board, create a new board to replace it and seek a contractor to operate one-stop career centers. About 40 county employee positions are affected by the change. The county could lose workforce development funding from the federal government if it does not privatize the career centers in Modesto, Oakdale and Patterson. … The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, signed by President Obama in 2014, called for privatization of workforce development services across the nation to better create opportunities for vulnerable populations. The county is faced with finding one or more contractors to provide the local career services. The county must be in compliance with the federal law by July 1, 2017. …

Kenyatta attacks Bing over outsourcing two departments

Source: Darren A. Nichols, Detroit News, September 7, 2012

Related:
Detroit city unions sue to block outsourcing
Source: Steve Pardo, Detroit News, June 13, 2012

…Representatives of the AFSCME Council 25 and three affiliates say the unions are still operating under a collective bargaining agreement set to expire at the end of the month. Union officials say the city is violating the agreement by working to transfer work currently being done by city employees to outside parties, as outlined under Mayor Dave Bing’s 2012-13 fiscal year budget. The contracts with the city contain a successor clause that requires any third party that gets land or handles operations must abide by AFSCME bargaining agreements, the unions say.

The city’s Department of Health and Wellness Promotion, the Department of Workforce Development and the Department of Human Services, along with parent organization AFSCME, are suing the city. Those departments have been targeted for elimination under Bing’s budget. …The lawsuit says the city is working to transfer health and wellness services to a company called the Institute for Population Health….

Training for Free

Source: Caroline Cournoyer, Governing, December 2011

The time and money it takes to find, hire and train a new employee who may not last beyond the training period makes many private-sector businesses hesitant to even start the process — especially during tough economic times. But what if employers didn’t have to pay to train prospective employees? That’s the premise of a program in the Peach State called Georgia Works.

It breaks down like this: People who receive unemployment checks from the state train with an employer that’s looking to hire for no more than two months. The state pays the trainee a small travel and child-care stipend, and covers his or her workers’ compensation. Jobless residents walk away with a training certificate and possibly a job, while businesses get to test out workers before making permanent payroll commitments.

Switch from public to private workforce leaves state workers caught in transition

Source: Bill Cotterell, Tallahassee Democrat, October 16, 2011
(subscription required)

…The governor said that the biggest job shift next year is likely to take away from state government and add jobs in his favorite area, the private sector. That’s the privatization of state prisons in 18 South Florida counties, a move involving about 4,000 Department of Corrections jobs. The proposal has been blocked by Leon County Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford in a lawsuit filed by the Florida Police Benevolent Association….The state may appeal Fulford’s ruling that the 2011 Legislature illegally put privatization in proviso language of the current state budget. Or legislators can enact it again in a separate bill, as the judge said they should have done earlier this year.

A multi-agency task force is already examining law-enforcement functions of different agencies, such as the Departments of Agriculture, Financial Services and others with police powers. McDaniel said the team’s report to Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon is due Dec. 31….

…Scott also combined the Department of Community Affairs, Agency for Workforce Innovation and Office of Trade, Tourism and Economic Development into his new Department of Economic Opportunity. The three eliminated agencies had a total of 1,819 employees, while the DEO now has 1,613. About 45 DCA workers kept their jobs, which were shifted to other agencies.

The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor

Source: Mike Elk and Bob Sloan, Nation, August 1, 2011

The breaded chicken patty your child bites into at school may have been made by a worker earning twenty cents an hour, not in a faraway country, but by a member of an invisible American workforce: prisoners. At the Union Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Florida, inmates from a nearby lower-security prison manufacture tons of processed beef, chicken and pork for Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE), a privately held non-profit corporation that operates the state’s forty-one work programs. In addition to processed food, PRIDE’s website reveals an array of products for sale through contracts with private companies, from eyeglasses to office furniture, to be shipped from a distribution center in Florida to businesses across the US. PRIDE boasts that its work programs are “designed to provide vocational training, to improve prison security, to reduce the cost of state government, and to promote the rehabilitation of the state inmates.”

Although a wide variety of goods have long been produced by state and federal prisoners for the US government–license plates are the classic example, with more recent contracts including everything from guided missile parts to the solar panels powering government buildings–prison labor for the private sector was legally barred for years, to avoid unfair competition with private companies. But this has changed thanks to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), its Prison Industries Act, and a little-known federal program known as PIE (the Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program). While much has been written about prison labor in the past several years, these forces, which have driven its expansion, remain largely unknown.

When Scandal Is Outsourced

Source: Michael Powell, New York Times, August 8, 2011

Eight months ago, a deputy director at a city-financed job center leafed through work sheets and noticed something curious. In case after case, someone on the staff had taken a jobless client’s work history, altered dates and claimed past employment as a new job.

The deputy, Bill Harper, paged through more sheets. He counted more than 400 fraudulent placements. (The city pays his agency, Seedco, a performance bonus for placements.) In April, he took his findings to his bosses at Seedco, which holds $15 million in city contracts.

Seedco quickly conducted an audit; it said it had found just 60 data errors. City officials just as quickly declared satisfaction and conducted no follow-up. In June, Mr. Harper quit in disgust.

Ruling: County must rehire axed union workers / Decision stems from debate over outsourcing of work.

Source: Jennifer Learn-Andes, Luzerne County Reporter, June 21, 2011

A state hearing examiner has ordered Luzerne County to rehire 36 union employees who were cut from the county payroll when their department was outsourced almost a year ago and pay all their lost wages and benefits. A year’s worth of pay for the impacted former employees would total more than $1 million, according to payroll records from 2010. The estimated cost of health insurance for the employees was not available Monday.

The ruling stems from an unfair labor practices claim filed against the county last May by employees of the now-defunct county Workforce Investment Development Agency, which provided employment programs for adults and underprivileged youths.

Florida job center criticized for passing out ‘superhero’ capes to jobless

Source: Associated Press / WPEC-CBS12.com, April 19, 2011

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida officials are investigating an unemployment agency that spent public money to give 6,000 superhero capes to the jobless.

Workforce Central Florida, a private agency run by business leaders that gets federal funding, spent more than $14,000 on the red capes as part of its “Cape-A-Bility Challenge” public relations campaign. The $73,000 campaign features a cartoon character “Dr. Evil Unemployment” who needs to be vanquished.
See also:
Agency In Charge Of Finding People Jobs Spent $300K On Cars
Source: WFTV, March 16, 2011

Governor-elect John Kasich hints at broader privatization plans as he names his new development chief

Source: Reginald Fields, Plain Dealer, Friday, January 07, 2011

Job development, prisons, the lottery, the Ohio Turnpike. And on Friday, Governor-elect John Kasich hinted that maybe even the state’s control over its liquor sales could be turned over to the highest bidder….The Republican leader’s staff later said that privatizing the Ohio Division of Liquor Control was tossed out as example of what’s been discussed internally but has not yet risen to the level of full consideration as has the lottery, turnpike and prisons. Still, the comment was another peek into just how aggressive Kasich plans to be in turning public agencies and entities over to private companies to help the cash-strapped state make a few dollars. Ohio faces an $8 billion budget shortfall later this year….

…Earlier this week Kasich appointed a new state prisons director, Gary Mohr, a former prison warden and a private prison consultant. Kasich later acknowledged that privatizing more Ohio prisons is highly likely.

And the incoming governor again on Friday talked about leasing the Ohio Turnpike, making it sound like a done deal — if he can get the right price….

As for liquor sales, Ohio is a control state, meaning it is the sole purchaser and distributor of “spirituous liquor” (defined as containing more than 21 percent alcohol). The state decides what gets sold, who sells it and how much it costs. In fiscal 2010, the liquor authority reported a record $743 million in sales of spirituous liquors, and the agency netted a profit of $229 million.
Related:
For $1, Kasich hires private help to spur job creation
Source: Mark Niquette, Columbus Dispatch Friday, January 7, 2011
Updated:
Kasich eyes use of liquor profits to aid JobsOhio
Source: Jim Provance, Blade, March 29, 2011