Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dressing Unemployed As Super Heroes

Only in Florida: Gary J. Earl, the Central Florida director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation is being investigated for spending $16,500 on super hero capes and form cutouts of Dr. Evil Unemployment. Earl planned to spend a total of $73,000 and hand out 6,000 red capes to the unemployed. Earl claims this was part of an outreach program to the unemployed.

He said with any marketing push, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and that "not everyone will agree on creative strategy."

"The plight of the unemployed is why we exist," Earl wrote, "and to help them, we have to engage them, introduce them to our services and connect them with job opportunities."

Earl said his agency would cooperate with investigators but he did not address other questions about the probe. Several Workforce Central board members, including Chairman Owen Wentworth, did not reply to emails or phone calls to the Sentinel.

I'm all for making people more aware of unemployment services. Dressing the unemployed as super heroes is an amazingly stupid way to inform the public. Republicans will use this disaster to justify cutting unemployment benefits. The unemployed shouldn't be punished for Earl's horrible judgement.

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