The Better Government Association took a look something called the Urban Weatherization Initiative–a state government program whose goal was to train workers in manly African-American areas to identify and fix energy-inefficient homes.
Cutting utility bills for the poor seems to have been the selling point, beyond the jobs to be created.
The 2009 program is authorized to be financed by $435 million in bonds. [Fortunately, under $17 million has been spent so far.]
1,900 people have been trained, but they can’t find jobs.
Read this from the Chicago Sun-Times article:
Many of those who have gotten work through the program are being paid not at the $20-an-hour expected rate for these relatively unskilled jobs, but instead at the scale the state sets for skilled carpenters.
That’s because the program’s architects failed to recognize salaries would need to be in accord with the state’s Prevailing Wage Act, which doesn’t have a category for weatherization workers.
With each home limited to repairs of no more than $6,500, the inflated pay has eaten up moveny intended for the improvements.
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Another Pat Quinn-run program not working.