WASHINGTON – House Republicans are expanding their probe into the Obama administration’s energy programs, investigating $500 million in green job training grants that placed just 10% of trainees in jobs, according to a government report.
The program’s goal was to train 124,893 people and put 79,854 in jobs. But 17 months later, 52,762 were trained and 8,035, or roughly 1 in 10, had jobs. Those numbers come from an audit by the Department of Labor’s inspector general, which recommended that the administration end the program and return unspent money.
President Obama has made green jobs a cornerstone of his economic agenda. In his first 2012 campaign ad this month, he said clean energy industries created 2.7 million jobs and were “expanding rapidly.” But Republicans have pounced on failures, such as the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a solar panel maker backed with a Department of Energy loan guarantee.
Citing what he calls “abysmal results” in the job training program, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is demanding answers about how the Department of Labor awarded the grants, which were funded out of the 2009 stimulus bill.
But Assistant Secretary of Labor Jane Oates defends the initiative, saying the inspector general’s audit used old numbers and that it was never designed to provide immediate results.
Read More at USA Today By Gregory Korte, USA Today
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