Posts tagged ‘Your tax dollars at work’

How NOT to help someone get a job: Capes!

If you had $73,000 of taxpayer money to spend on helping the jobless, would you spend it on superhero capes and an evil villain? Workforce Central Florida (WFCF) tried it, and watched the program blow up on them. Yahoo News had the details:


Job center blasted for giving

capes to unemployed

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida officials are investigating an unemployment agency that spent public money to give 6,000 superhero capes to the jobless.

Workforce Central Florida spent more than $14,000 on the red capes as part of its “Cape-A-Bility Challenge” public relations campaign. The campaign featured a cartoon character, “Dr. Evil Unemployment,” who needs to be vanquished.

Florida’s unemployment agency director asked Monday for an investigation of the regional operation’s spending after the Orlando Sentinel published a story about the program. State director Cynthia Lorenzo said the spending appeared to be “insensitive and wasteful.”

Workforce Central Florida Director Gary J. Earl defends the program, saying it is part of a greater effort to connect with the community. The agency says it served 210,000 people during its last fiscal year, placing nearly 59,000 in jobs.


The Orlando Sentinel provides more details about this program:

The budget for the campaign was $73,000, with more than $14,000 being spent on capes and almost $2,300 on the “Dr. Evil” figures. Although the agency has said that was all public money, Vice President Kimberly Sullivan on Wednesday suggested the capes were bought using cash from a non-public account. She provided no details.

Agency officials had portrayed the campaign as a fun, unusual way to engage the public. Many of Central Florida’s 116,000 unemployed saw it as juvenile or, worse yet, insulting.

Many of Florida’s unemployed let Workforce Central Florida know their feelings. The result was in this message, posted on the WFCF web page last Wednesday:

ORLANDO, Fla. – WORKFORCE CENTRAL FLORIDA has listened to the public, and will be withdrawing our admittedly out-of-the-box creative campaign, “Cape-A-Bility Challenge” later today.

Seems that Workforce Central Florida forgot about E.Mode’s First Law:

25 April 2011 at 12:42AM Leave a comment

WSJ: War on Interns

One of the house editorials from today’s (7 April) Wall Street Journal:

War on Interns

Making it illegal to work for free.

The labor market is still in recession, but for younger workers it feels more like a depression. In the last year, the unemployment rate among workers age 20 to 24 has risen to almost 16%, and among teenagers to 26%.

You might therefore expect a federal effort to encourage employers to give unskilled youngsters a chance. You would be wrong. The feds have instead decided to launch a campaign to crack down on unpaid internships that regulators claim violate minimum-wage laws.

“If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law,” the Labor Department’s Nancy J. Leppink tells the New York Times.

The Times also quotes Trudy Steinfeld, director of New York University’s Office of Career Services, regarding opportunities for unpaid internships. “A few famous banks have called and said, ‘We’d like to do this,’ said Ms. Steinfeld. “I said, ‘No way. You will not list on this campus.'” To be fair, she doesn’t want a Labor Department enforcer knocking on her door next week. But we wonder what NYU students trying to get their feet in the doors of financial firms think about Ms. Steinfeld rejecting opportunities on their behalf.

How all of this helps young people who are trying to develop marketable skills is a mystery. While the Department of Labor may insist the world owes these kids a living, the truth is that many young workers are willing to trade free labor for a chance to demonstrate their skills and build a resume for the next job. Especially in a bad labor market, the choice college students face may be to work without pay, or hang by the beach.

This isn’t exploiting young people. It’s letting young people exploit an opportunity.

7 April 2010 at 11:27PM Leave a comment


My Core Ideas

1. "I can't tell you the best way to get a job - because there is no one best way. After 21 years of recruiting, I CAN share things I've seen candidates do to guarantee they DIDN'T get the job."

2. "Most companies don't realize how their recruiting process impacts their candidate pool, and their business. Attention to simple things will result in big improvements."

About the Author

Troy Bettinger, SPHR is a Denver Recruiter, Public Speaker, HR Metrics Analyst and Human Resources Leader who has been recruiting in corporate and municipal environments since 1991.

He specializes in the complete hiring process: defining, sourcing, recruiting, testing, interviewing, offering and orienting new hires. He's also well versed in strategic human resources, college recruiting, diversity recruiting, AAP, EEO, ATS integration, recruiting metrics, social media, recruiting leadership, training and employment branding.

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