What ARRA you Buying? The folly continues……

I thought I would give you an update on the state’s use of ARRA funds in the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation that chose to use the 8.8 million dollars “to provide services to 1,000 new DVR customers with disabilities and assist them in finding jobs in high demand, high wage occupations and new green economy jobs”. The program is called Project H.I.R.E (Hiring Individuals with disabilities who are Ready for Employment). “The Goal: full-time jobs (35+ hours per week) with benefits earning mid-to-high wages ($15/per hour depending on the area) in demand occupations – such as health care, information technology, green jobs, energy, manufacturing, aerospace, international trade, other stimulus projects”.

In my May 20th blog, I pointed out the $15.00/hour has been lowered substantially as has the placement expectations and the target job areas and also reported out the abysmal results.

So where are we at? So let’s look at the current scorecard.

Goal                                                                                 Results

June-December 2009 – 200 persons placed in jobs          Outcome 6 people placed – 93 clients in plan

January – June 2010 – 200 persons placed in jobs            Total 93 persons placed

July-December 2010 – 300 persons placed in jobs

January – June 2011 – 300 persons placed in jobs

Let’s see they spent the first $2.0 million (on the initial 6 people placed) and then another $1.5 million or a total of $3.5 million for the 90 or so clients. That’s running about $38,000 per case. Oh the folly doesn’t stop there they want to add an additional $50,000 per contractor and keep the program running adding to the already bloated program costs.

Keep it going? Are you kidding me? 93 people placed out of the 400 expected at an average case cost of $38,000 what is going on there?

Who is keeping an eye on this? The State Rehabilitation Council asked for an independent review of the plan – not happening. I wonder why?

According to my records Morningside placed 88 individuals into jobs vs. the 93 these other contractors placed and these were individuals who happen to be substantially more disabled than the Project HIRE folks. Given adequate resources and the same level of clients targeted in this program we could have placed substantially more than 93 at far far less money.  Our reimbursement rate would have been approximatly 10% of what it costs the state and Federal government in Project HIRE.

Where would you place your money if given the choice?

Like I said this past spring I am certain that President Barack Obama isn’t a follower of my blog and has no idea that these funds are being squandered but I would bet that he would be disappointed in how “Obama bucks” as the press terms these funds are not being utilized to the maximum extent possible and that the dream of 1,000 jobs being secured in demand occupations such as health care, information technology, green jobs, energy, manufacturing, aerospace, international trade, other stimulus projects was just that a dream.

CEO Viewpoint is published by Jim Larson, CEO Morningside

This space is intended to share my thoughts and update the community on issues concerning Morningside and its clients as well sharing inspirational employment stories.

This site is for information and discussion purposes only and does not represent the official views of the Morningside. Any views expressed on this website are those of the individual post author only. Morningside accepts no liability for the content of this site.

Posted in State Policy