FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City of Springfield’s Workforce Development Department has received word that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is satisfied with the corrective action clarifying eligibility processes regarding the use of grant funds for a workforce development initiative called “America’s Promise.” In a Feb. 11, 2020 letter from the Employment and Training Administration Division, officials notify acceptance of the “City of Springfield’s evidence that it has taken the necessary corrective actions to ensure that moving forward, all participants enrolled in the program meet the eligibility criteria established.”
Following an internal audit by BKD and a second independent audit by RSM, the City flagged 59 of the 376 participants in the program as ineligible.
- 53 participants did not reside in the approved geographic area;
- Four participants were enrolled in a local educational agency;
- One participant did not have required documentation to show residency in the approved service area. (Several attempts to contact the individual were made; however, the participant was unable to be reached to obtain additional documentation)
- One participant did not have supporting documentation to show eligibility for unemployed, underemployed, or an incumbent worker;
The total amount of grant funds expended on the 59 individuals is $245,511.88 - an amount DOL is willing to approve the City using grant funds to cover, given that moving forward, the City will ensure that all participants enrolled in the program meet the eligibility criteria.
“We are so grateful to the Department of Labor for their assistance in this matter. Our partnership is strong, and we appreciate the collaboration. We also appreciate the continued support of OTC in this and other workforce development initiatives,” said Sally Payne, Director of Workforce Development.
Audits were requested by City management after Workforce Development and Finance department employees became concerned that enrollment processes may not have correctly assessed the eligibility of America’s Promise grant recipients.
The $3 million grant was awarded to the City in December 2016. The grants are designed to accelerate the development and expansion of regional workforce partnerships committed to providing a pipeline of skilled workers in specific sectors. Locally, participants choose one of six allied health care tracks to study tuition-free at Ozarks Technical Community College:
- certified nurse assistant
- pharmacy technician
- certified medical assistant
- LPN to RN bridge, and
- emergency medical technician.
Fifty-four of the 59 participants have exited from the program and are no longer receiving grant funded services; and Ozark Technical Community College has agreed to pay the remaining training costs for the remaining five participants and provide case management and retention services using funding sources other than the America’s Promise grant.
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For more information, please call Sally Payne, Interim Director of Workforce Development, or Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-864-1009 or 417-380-3352.