A workforce investment board charged with providing job training to laid-off workers used stimulus funding to subsidize the placement of workers at the companies that had just fired them, the state's stimulus watchdog wrote Thursday.
The Monterey County Workforce Investment Board created "the appearance of revolving-door employment" by using money meant to train workers to place them back in their old jobs or jobs so similar they needed no additional training to perform them.
The actions made it "seem that (the board) was back-filling vacant jobs with the same employees who originally occupied the vacancies," wrote Laura Chick, inspector general for California stimulus spending.
Also, the board placed two well-qualified electricians in jobs where they were meant to learn how to be electricians, Chick found The manager of the company that got them said they needed no training, and was happy for the cheap help.
The Workforce Investment Board received a total of $4.7 million in stimulus funds under the federal Workforce Investment Act.
The board, in its official response to Chick, said her office failed to acknowledge the urgency -- and pressure -- created by massive layoffs during the recession. They also noted that, since newer workers are laid off most often, some of the workers who went back to their old jobs -- or ones like them -- were so inexperienced they needed more training.