Charlie Crist wants answers on CareerSource oversight

crist 08.30

There’s something shady going on with CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist wants to know whether the U.S. Department of Labor has any oversight in place and if changes are needed to prevent fraud in the future.

The first-term congressman, who represents Pinellas County, sent a letter Thursday to Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. He previously called on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to look into reports that the two Careersource branches were falsifying jobs numbers.

State investigators started looking into the apparent fraud last week.

“I write to you regarding troubling reports of mismanagement at two workforce development programs in the Tampa Bay region, including my congressional district.  This week, I asked Chairman Virginia Foxx and Ranking Member Bobby Scott to review reporting by the Tampa Bay Times which highlights the falsification of records by officials at CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay. Given that Department of Labor funding may have be used to conduct these activities, it would seem the Department has an important role to play in that oversight process as well,” Crist wrote.

“As you know, CareerSource centers in Florida rely heavily on federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding. Please provide information on what accountability and oversight processes the department follows to protect the integrity of WIOA funding. I think we can both agree that inadequate oversight of federal tax dollars can come at a steep cost to both taxpayers and the communities who rely on these important workforce development programs. The enclosed reports would suggest that simply outsourcing stewardship of federal tax dollars to the states may be insufficient.”

Also on Thursday, House Speaker Richard Corcoran ordered a House probe of the two offices, and asked the agency’s high-paid chief executive, Edward Peachey, to hand over copies of all employment contracts and records of how many people the agency had trained for jobs, among other things.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


  • John Fleming

    January 26, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Workforce is nothing but a bunch of time-serving clerk-n-jerks. There must be a way of linking actual job placement to the efforts of job-seekers to their placement by Workforce.

  • Nick deTampa

    January 27, 2018 at 10:36 am

    This is another example of Florida state government privatizing and contracting out services that should be “owned and operated” by the state, in state owned offices run by state employees. The state taxes should go to the salaries of these employees and the federal grants should subsidize the unemployment benefits both in amount and time. The current $275 a week maximum for a maximum of 12 weeks is disgraceful knowing that Ed Peachy had hit the jackpot. Knowing that the maximum benefit is only $3,300 for a 12 month period calculates to $1.65 hourly.
    To make matters worse, the training and services provided don’t yield any measurable sign of success when job hunting. Their business model uses an increase of caseload as a measure of success, not a confirmed placement of candidates to a job that matches their experiences.
    The money is there, either to pay out in benefits or to provide the necessary tools and services or to do both. The measure of success is how quickly can CareerSource get people in front of hiring managers through direct marketing, so that candidates can interview for the jobs that they are most qualified.

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