Dreams of jobs training hit reality; Atlanta vows it won’t surrender

Less than 10 percent of those who applied for a job-training program initiated by Falcons team owner Arthur Blank passed the drug test required for acceptance to the program, according to Atlanta City Councilmember Ivory L. Young, Jr.

Young cited the figure to illustrate the challenge of job training for individuals who have troubles past or present. Of 160 applicants, 18 were accepted, he said.

As feds probe workforce program, for alleged fraud by vendors, Mayor Reed reappoints majority of its board

Federal authorities are conducting a criminal investigation into Atlanta’s workforce training program, city records show.

The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating allegations of fraud, by at least 57 vendors, which were unearthed in an audit released in February 2013 by Atlanta City Auditor Leslie Ward, records show.

Although an outside consultant hired by Invest Atlanta recommended July 31 that Atlanta reorganize the board that oversees the training program, Mayor Kasim Reed has recommended that 12 of 21 board members be reappointed.

Atlanta seeks to rebuild troubled workforce training program

After more than two years of review, Atlanta is taking steps to rebuild its troubled workforce development strategy.

A year-long analysis of the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency released by Mayor Kasim Reed seeks to address problems in an agency so troubled that a city audit suggested Atlanta should consider disbanding the agency.

A key finding of the review stated: “Today, Atlanta’s Workforce Investment Board and the AWDA operate in ways which are in direct contrast with the emerging best practices, and should be addressed as the AWDA plans for the future.”

As feds probe possible fraud in Atlanta’s workforce agency, Invest Atlanta steps into void

Invest Atlanta, the city’s development arm, plans to hire a consultant next month to sharpen Atlanta’s workforce development strategy.

The project is moving forward as the federal Department of Labor weighs evidence of possible fraud in the federally funded Atlanta Workforce Development Agency. The agency’s budget approaches $10 million a year.

Invest Atlanta distributed a request for proposals regarding the workforce strategy on March 4, according to a schedule contained in the RFP. That was a month after the Feb. 4 release of a city audit that revealed the evidence of possible fraud and recommended Atlanta’s workforce agency be discontinued.