05.07.2013 1

Obama’s Labor Dept Green Jobs Chief Resigns

ALG Staff

The Labor Department chieftain responsible for the Obama Administration’s much-maligned green labor grants program has resigned effective May 31.  Jane Oates oversaw a multi-billion budget for the Labor Department’s Employment Training Administration, the largest within the Department, overseeing such varied programs as Job Corps, the issuance of employment VISAs, and the nationwide network of career centers authorized under the Workforce Investment Act.

Recently, Oates has come under fire for the alleged mismanagement of the Job Corps program which was forced to freeze enrollments for three months due to overspending budgeted funds.  Democratic Senator Robert Casey conducted a hearing in March featuring Oates and others trying to get to the bottom of the management failure and was left with more questions than answers.

Oates also became embroiled in controversy when her Agency awarded federal aid packages worth approximately $13,000 to former Solyndra employees, certifying that they were displaced due to foreign competition.  Readers will recall that Solyndra was the California solar panel manufacturer which went out of business losing more than $500 million in taxpayer funds, becoming the symbol of Obama’s green energy investment failure.

Over the years, Oates has been an ardent advocate for the value of green job training programs awarding almost $400 million in green job grants, but has failed over the course of her four year tenure to show how a relationship between the training the Department provided and people getting jobs.

An Inspector General’s report released in October 2012 showed that under Oates’ leadership, the green jobs programs failed to meet many of the key metrics of success.  Under the green jobs training programs only 38 percent of those who completed green job training getting jobs based upon that training, and a stunningly low 16 percent still had the job six months later.

Auditors for the Inspector General’s office very generously and maybe even sardonically reported, “Outcomes for participants were far less than originally proposed.”

OveThe agency she oversaw doled out billions of dollars in grants to targeted beneficiaries tasked with providing job training programs during her tenure.

No replacement is expected to be announced until after the Senate decides whether to confirm or reject Obama Labor Department Secretary nominee Thomas Perez.

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