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U.S. Green Training Fell Short of Jobs Goal, Report Says

Green-job training programs paid for by the 2009 economic stimulus have had only limited success in boosting employment, the Department of Labor’s inspector general said in a report.

The Labor Department watchdog examined 97 training programs funded with $435.4 million in stimulus spending. Out of 113,247 people who participated, 52,890, or 47 percent, were already employed when they entered the training program. The report found that 30,857 of the participants were unemployed and later found jobs or were employed and got new jobs after completing training, short of the department’s 81,254 goal.

“The impact of the Recovery Act Green Jobs training program has been limited in terms of reported employment outcomes,” the inspector general said in the report, which is dated October 25.

Representative Darrell Issa of California, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee who requested the report, said it shows the green-jobs training program was a “bad investment.”

The report recommends that the Labor Department develop a strategy to ensure grant funds are expended on those workers most in need of the training.

Jane Oates, assistant secretary for employment and training at the Labor Department, said in a response included in the report that the grants were, “smart investments that are preparing Americans for the clean energy jobs driving our 21st century economy.”

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