Portman blasts wasteful Job Corps spending

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) criticized the Department of Labor program Job Corps for wasting nearly $250,000 according to an inspector general report.

“We must ensure that hard-earned taxpayer dollars intended to get workers back on a career path are spent wisely,” Portman said Monday. 

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Job Corps is a program that aims to prepare young adults for the workforce through education and job training.

Portman said the new inspector general report found that participants who were issued Job Corps travel debit cards spent thousands of dollars on clothes, haircuts and smartphones. He said the report also stated that nearly $30,000 of prepaid debit cards were thrown away.

“It’s a shame when we see such clear examples of waste from the federal workforce development programs that go beyond the inefficiencies and overlap that have needed reform, particularly at a time when so many people are struggling to find jobs because they lack the skills companies are looking for,” Portman said. 

Portman said the report showed a “broader pattern of mismanagement” within the Job Corps program and called for more internal controls to prevent the fraudulent charges.

Last week, the Senate passed the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act, which funds Job Corps. Portman said the bill included some of his suggested reforms to make the program more efficient.