Florida officials are scrambling to investigate Workforce Central Florida, their regional federally funded jobs agency. Workforce Central Florida was distributing capes to jobless residents who participated in the agency’s “Cape-A-Bility Challenge.” To win a cape, contestants had to become a Workforce Central Florida fan on Facebook, take a Facebook quiz — “What Superhero Are You?” — or have a photo taken with a foam cutout of Dr. Evil Unemployment.
Which just sounds silly, until you you realize they spent money on this crap. They spent more than $14,000 on 6,000 satin superhero capes and more than $73,000 on a media campaign to raise awareness of the agency’s services.
Florida’s unemployment agency director asked 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 money for the capes is unrestricted funds, so none of the money for the campaign in any way would ever affect people’s unemployment check, or anything like that,” said Kimberly Sullivan, with Workforce Central Florida.
So I show up to an interview, Workforce Central Florida didn’t teach me how to fix my resume but they did give me this kick-ass cape. Let me understand, Governor Rick Scott turned down money for a train– but spent taxpayer money on satin capes!?
I guess it’s so the jobless can wrap themselves in it once they’re homeless.