Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: The Evidence Is In: Green Jobs Are a Total Waste

Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 30, 2012, 3:33 p.m. EST by Cvacca (-24)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

In case anyone has any doubt, the evidence is in. Green jobs training programs are a waste of taxpayer money. So says the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Labor in a report on the $500 million program, published on Thursday.

Assistant Inspector General Elliot Lewis wrote that of the $500 million authorized in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the stimulus bill) for green jobs training programs, $329 million was spent by June 30, 2012. Of the 113,000 people who participated in the green jobs training programs, 72 percent have completed training; 27 percent of participants got a job; 22 percent of participants got a job relating to their training; and 10 percent kept their jobs for at least six months.

That's a cost of about $28,000 for each job retained for six months or more.

The report was requested by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa. It follows a prior report published on September 30, 2011, and reaches similar conclusions.

Workforce training programs have generally been costly, without fulfilling their goals. From the 1970s Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, to the 1980s Job Training Partnership Act, to the multitude of programs today, federal job training programs have disappointed their proponents.

However, green jobs training programs fare even worse than other Labor Department programs. Let's look at the "entered employment rate," defined as the percentage who start a job after completing the training program. This measure, by the way, excludes those who drop out of the training programs before completion. For the green jobs programs, 32,000 dropped out without finishing, a waste of their time and taxpayer funds.

For green job training programs, 38 percent of those who completed training entered employment as of June 2012. For the quarter ending March 2012, a slightly different time period, 56 percent of Workforce Investment Act Adult Program trainees entered employment, as did 71 percent of the Registered Apprenticeship program trainees.

Then, consider the "employment retention rate," which is the percent of trained employees who kept their jobs for at least six months. For workers from green jobs training programs, it's 38 percent, compared with 81 percent from Workforce Investment Act Adult program and 86 percent for the Registered Apprenticeship program.

In fact, the green jobs training programs have the lowest entered employment rates and employment retention rates of all Labor Department training programs.

But the results of the program are even worse than these numbers suggest.

First, of those workers who completed the training and entered employment, 38 percent already had jobs, and got a new job with the same employer or another one. Unlike other Labor Department training programs, employed workers are permitted to enroll.

Second, of all those who completed training, almost half went through programs of five days or less. That's substantially less than other Labor Department training programs.

Third, of all the green-trained workers who got jobs, the largest group, 36 percent, was in the category of "energy efficient building, construction, and retrofitting." That means jobs such as insulation and weather stripping, not substantially different from other construction jobs. The next largest group, 34 percent, was employed in "an industry not specified as green."

Relatively few green trained workers got jobs in renewable electric power (5 percent), the manufacture of sustainable products (4 percent), energy efficiency assessment (3 percent), energy efficient vehicles (3 percent), deconstruction and materials use (2 percent), or biofuels (1 percent).

One surprise was that 84 percent of the participants in green job training programs were male. This is a large proportion, especially since women get 58 percent of all BA degrees, 63 percent of all MA degrees, and over half of all PhDs awarded. But perhaps women are too smart to enroll in a program with record low employment retention rates.

It's clear that by the Labor Department's original criteria the program did not meet its original goals. The number of people who retained employment 6 months or more, 11,613, represents 16 percent of the Department's target of 71,017 jobs retained.

The Labor Department's Assistant Inspector General study reveals a deeply troubled government program The next time a government official touts green jobs, remember: this is a program that does not work.

6 Comments

6 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

Shall we look at the war budget?

For all wars/regime changes/save the oppressed from tyrants?

Now tell me how these hugely expensive actions benefit average Americans.

It's not like they bring oil prices down. Fuel prices go up every time another country gets screwed over, and that's because it costs a million barrels of oil every three days to keep the machine moving.

Cost of a gallon of fuel delivered in Afghanistan is about a hundred dollars.

Bring the military home, and get them to work fixing up the nation, and looking after the poor and oppressed back home.

[-] 1 points by Shayneh (-482) 2 years ago

So what does the war budget have to do with this post - nothing? What this post is about is "govermnet wasting money" not about a war.

Well wait - it is about a war - a war to stop the government from wasteful spending -

Obama had the first 2 years to get the troops out but he didn't so - stop singing that song. .

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

"What this post about is "government wasting money" not about war".

So, you think all those trillions spent on sorting out the "problems" in other nations is money well spent?

The post talks about "wasting" 500 million dollars on an employment program, when that amount wouldn't pay the fuel bill for a week of endless war.

War is waste. Half a billion is a drop in the bucket compared with 2.3 trillion dollars "misplaced" by the Pentagon.

[-] 1 points by Shayneh (-482) 2 years ago

Like I said - Obama had the opportunity to do what he promised when he became president - end both wars - but I guess he just wasn't ready to commit - like he did with a lot of his promises. So blame Obama for the trillions wasted if that's what you think. But lets not forget about the 500 million that this post is about also. Can't blame Romney for those losses.

Now lets focus on the post - government waste - it goes on, and on, and on, and on, like the everyready battery.

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 2 years ago

If you see the words 'green' or 'clean' used it's more than likely a scam.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 2 years ago

Government training programs are generally regarded as laughable boondoggles that train no one and accomplish nothing, except for keeping a few bureaucrats on the payroll. The sad thing is that it need not be that way. In some other countries they have highly effective training programs that match workers up with employers very effectively. The difference is that in those countries the point of the program is to get people jobs. In this country most such programs are about political correctness and other such political considerations. Actually getting people jobs has nothing to do with it. The green jobs program is an excellent example: the point was to prove Obama's a treehugger, not to get anyone a real job.