On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General issued an auditshowing that the $500 million the Obama Administration spent to createfigure just 16% of original projections.
The Labor Department said it disagreed with the findings of its own Office of Audit: “Thisreport does not take into account that nearly half of the grants arestill active and thousands of workers are still participating in theprogram,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.
But the audit paints a very different picture. From the Office of Inspector General report:
Outof a target of 81,254, grantees collectively reported 30,857participants (38 percent) entered employment. While grantees reportedthat 49 percent of participants who obtained jobs retained employmentfor at least 6 months, the reported number retained of 11,613 representsonly 16 percent of the planned retention goal of 71,017. Moreover,42,322 participants (52 percent) who completed training were incumbentworkers, meaning the participants were already employed when theyentered the program. Grantees were authorized to train incumbent workerswho needed training to secure full-time employment, advance theircareers, or retain their current jobs. However, for the 81 incumbentworkers we identified in our sample, we found no evidence that theyneeded green job training for any of these purposes.
The Labor Department’s green jobs training program is but a part ofPresident Barack Obama’s much larger $90 billion clean energy stimulusprogram.
Critics say the low jobs numbers are hardlysurprising, given the amount of cronyism involved in the allocation ofthe green energy stimulus monies. As Newsweek has reported, roughly 80% of the Department of Energy’s $20.5 billion in loans granted “went to companieseither run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers–individualswho were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, orlarge donors to the Democratic Party.”
In 2008, Mr. Obama promised his policies would create 5 million “green collar” jobs.