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Topic: Career Alliance , Fact or Fiction?

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Steve Myers
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Originally posted on Mlive By sloskaterman:

Career Alliance Articles an agency that gets around 20 mil a year and farms it out to the same 5 service providers...not counting hers and the other top salaries..Interesting story reporter Ron Fonger just broke following the misuse of credit cards by the Career Alliance top staff...it now appears head CEO Pam Loving made aprox. $177,00 in 2006...not bad for a person that was about to be fired from Kettering as a secretary and was forced to be taken in by Greg Eason back in Jobs Central days..now we have Mike Zelly one of the biggest "Feeders at the trough" thru his Disability Network service provider scam wanting to review her salary...gee, he heads up her Board..I now a lot more horror stories hope Fonger keeps digging.


Steve Myers
Post Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:44 am 
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Steve Myers
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Career Alliance ranks low among state job agencies
Posted by Ron Fonger July 28, 2007 18:59PM
Categories: Breaking News, Business, Flint
GENESEE COUNTY -- Just a few days after she started a Career Alliance-funded program aimed at helping her earn a GED and find a job, 18-year-old Ieisha Flagg sat in the back of her orientation class and daydreamed out loud.

"Hopefully, after I get my GED, I'll get a good job and my own house," said Flagg, a single mother with a soft voice and optimism in her eyes.

But for Flagg and others in Career Alliance-sponsored classes, there is a harsh reality that's rarely talked about: Flint-based Career Alliance delivers among the lowest chances for success finding work, keeping a job or furthering education of any such agency in Michigan, according to state documents obtained by The Flint Journal through the Freedom of Information Act.

It finished with the worst average results in three of 17 categories tracked by the state for Workforce Investment Act programs in the year ending June 30, 2006. The federal act is the largest single source of job-training money that the state receives.
Career Alliance -- the agency charged with administering more than $20 million in mostly federal job training money each year -- had:

The lowest job retention rate for those aged 19-21. Just 64.5 percent of 138 people in that age range held onto jobs at least six months after leaving Career Alliance.

The lowest percentage of youth aged 14-18 who found a job, enrolled in post-secondary education or were in the military or other training at least six months after leaving the program.

The lowest average earnings increases for adults who received help. The average change in earnings for 926 adults after receiving assistance from Career Alliance was just $2,291 a year -- less than half the state average.


Steve Myers
Post Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:38 pm 
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Steve Myers
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Pressure mounts on Career Alliance board over possible conflicts of interest, lack of oversight
Posted by Ron Fonger July 29, 2007 15:00PM
Categories: Breaking News, Flint, Genesee County
GENESEE COUNTY -- Members of the oversight board at Career Alliance Inc. now acknowledge they let the multi-million job training agency spin out of control and into deep trouble.

So can that same group -- 28 of the area's most prominent leaders of business, education, and organized labor -- succeed now when they failed in the past?

A Flint Journal investigation shows potential conflicts of interest among board members and the agency, and sometimes lackluster attendance at board meetings. County officials are now putting more pressure on the board, and one commissioner wants to know how to remove the members.

"Mistakes were made. There were flaws in our oversight process," said Mike Zelley, chairman of the Genesee-Shiawasee Workforce Development Board.

"I think the board depended on the auditors and the staff more than we should have," Zelley said. "In the future we will be more informed."

But there are obstacles -- not only for Career Alliance but for the Genesee-Shiawassee Workforce Development Board. Among them:

At least five of 28 board members have ties to companies or institutions that have had money funneled to them by the job training agency they are supposed to oversee, raising questions about conflict of interest.

Five organizations represented on the Workforce Development Board got more than $1.2 million from Career Alliance in one fiscal year alone, according to the agency's own audit.

The board, which meets less than once a month, has averaged less than 70 percent attendance since Jan. 1, 2006, and nine current or former board members have missed at least half the meetings they were eligible to attend.

At least two members of the Genesee County Board of Commissioners have questions about leaving the same board in place to pick up the pieces at Career Alliance.

Commissioner Rose Bogardus, D-Davison, has asked county attorneys about the procedure for removing members of the Workforce Development Board, and Chairman Archie Bailey said it's not enough for board members to say mistakes were made.

Bailey has pushed to hire a consultant to look further into problems at Career Alliance even as others have suggested the Workforce Development Board can handle the problems in-house -- without a deeper probe into what happened.

"The Career Alliance/Workforce Development Board is responsible for the current problems with the agency," Bailey said in an e-mail to The Flint Journal. "Board members have told me that they were unaware of what was occurring. That is unacceptable ... Whether or not there are changes on the board remains to be seen."

Problems at Career Alliance have been festering for years as state monitors have questioned dozens of expenditures, including spending on meals, poorly documented credit card expenses, and accounting at the agency.

The Workforce Development Board placed Chief Executive Officer Pamela Y. Loving on administrative leave in June after a series of Journal stories detailed some of more than two dozen unresolved problems raised by state monitors.

Despite the trouble, the Workforce Board gave Loving the richest contract of any local work force development official in Michigan and she continues to draw her salary while on leave. Last year, Loving's earnings reached more than $177,000.

Zelley said the Workforce Board, appointed by officials from the city of Flint, Genesee and Shiawassee counties, is already making progress and changing the way it and Career Alliance works.

Among issues an executive committee is working on: eliminating use of a corporate credit card by executives; restricting travel, which reached more than $109,000 in the year endingended June 30, 2006; stopping the purchase of Sam's Club memberships for employees; and changing controls over accounting, debt collection, and reimbursement.

Zelley said ties between Workforce Development Board members and Career Alliance don't amount to conflicts of interest but said a policy will be strengthened to avoid even the appearance of a conflict in the future.

Board members will sign a new disclosure form, spelling out connections they have to companies that do business with Career Alliance in the future.

One of those relationships involves The Disability Network, which Zelley is executive director of, and which received $46,760 in federal grant funds with Career Alliance for programs on serving people with disabilities.

Steve Myers
Post Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:11 pm 
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Pet peeve - board members who don't participate! Guess, being a board member of something/anything might be good on a resume.

On the otherhand, it sure is looking like some board members connected with Career Alliance got some easy money. It's be interesting to hear from the Board members who didn't attend to see why they didn't participate? Sometimes it's better to go away quietly then to be around when the crap hits the fan? Something to think about.

I've worked with a few BODs for over the past 35 years. Meeting attendance is usually minimal; unless of course something urgent is on the table and the "chosen" board members are called and begged to show up - at least for the vote.

Attendance policies aren't enforced, for political and other "personal" reasons.

Some BODs are stacked with YES people, who blindly support anything brought before them - its called the good old boys club.

I do wonder about the facts around the Career Alliance BOD Conflict of Interest - reading like a good old boys club set-up.

It makes me angry when I think about all the good things the money could have done for people who were truly in need - if it had been managed appropriately.

Unfortunately, this kind of stuff happens a lot in non-profit BODs - most issues don't make the news - because if you know the right people n the right places (ie the right BOD mbr) a lot of things can be covered/quieted up.

Financially, squelching bad news makes sense to a board. Saves face and attorney fees. Is it right? Depends on where you are at - doing the deed; paying taxes to support the deed; or trying to lay low and covering your ars? Jobs are hard to get in Flint; especially well paying ones. There are also places I wouldn't work - no matter what they paid!

Have a nice evening!
Post Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:48 pm 
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I keep seeing references to Ms Loving as an ex-secretary from GMI/Kettering University.

I wonder, without knowing anything more about her curriculum vitae, what QUALIFIED her to be selected as essentially, the CEO of a company????

Probably political connections? I read somewhere she was a close ally of Woodrow Stanley? Did he manipulate things to get her in there?

Any insights?

Otherwise, it looks like Flint/Genesee/Shiawassee county got what it deserves. Putting uncapable people into important positions, we shouldn't be surprised when they crash and burn. The only surprise might be, what took so long to find out?

Post Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:28 pm 
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contacts at Kettering to see what they know. Will post what I can, about what I hear.

Based on what happed at CA, she obviously wasn't qualified to be their CEO. It's obvious to me that political allies DID get her the job. That's how most CEO jobs are filled.

Unfortunately when you combine a bad CEO with an incompetent/thieving board; you get what has happened at CA. Too bad also for the good people involved at CA. These people will now have to suffer because of the wrong doers. The program could have been a good one. The missing monies could have helped a lot of those in need. Many players overlooked the financial problems and benefited from them. It's greed and corruption in its finest form.

Would be interesting to hear from some of the current CA workers who will probably be displaced because of what has happened. If CA does survive-it'll need a total staff/board redo. Let the staff who weren't involved and tried to bring attention to the problems apply for new positions. Of course, now that these unfortunate good deed doers have done what they felt needed to be done, and BTW what needed to be done - politically and professionally, they are most toast in the county. There membership in the "good 'ol boys club" is suspended.

Sad state of how things happen around the county and all over the world for that matter.
Post Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:02 pm 
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I worked at Jobs Central/Career Alliance for many years. I worked for Terry Bertram, Greg Eason, and Pamela Loving. I am greatly saddened by the recent turn of events. Career Alliance has the potential to make such a difference in our community! It is so hard to read about the abuses that have occurred in the past few years.

Pam Loving was brought in as Greg Eason's Deputy Director/VP in 1997, if I recall correctly. When Greg resigned, after a tumultuous reign himself I might add, Pam applied for his job and was surprisingly hired over more qualified candidates.

She has a degree from MCC in nursing and worked for a period as a Public Health nurse. I am not certain if she has a bachelor's degree. I believe she started at GMI/Kettering in her role as a nurse and rose through the ranks. Her "qualifications" to lead CAI stem not from her Kettering experience per se, but her work in the community. She was President of the Flint Board of Ed, sat on Hurley's Board of Directors, and was involved in many other community organizations. So, yes, her appointment was most likely political.

Does she have a technical understanding of workforce programs, regulations and law? No. She felt that was what she hired her staff to do. This lack of interest in the fundamental basics of workforce development perhaps led to her downfall, IMO.

However, as we all are aware, Genesee County is a very political place. lol So, it should not be surprising that an agency with a large amount of funding was targeted and abused.

I say shame on the Workforce Development Board and the Genesee County Board of Commissioners for not looking regularly at State and Internal monitoring reports and following up on issues to ensure they were resolved.
Post Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:31 pm 
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Thank you for the insight. I agree with you in that the Commissioners and the Development board should have paid better attention. If they were doing their job as a board member, they would have. IMO the CA fiasco will dig very deep in to the activities of thee "governing bodies".

It'll be an interesting issue to follow. Who knows if we've heard the worse yet? How many of the agencies involved with CA will undergo audits? What will those audits find?

As a citizen, I give a lot of credit to the people who helped bring the story to light in the community. Hopefully, better things will be in store for these people who did do the right thing. Laughing How things will work out for them, depends on the "good old boys club bylaws". Article II.E.a states 'it depends on WHO the negative facts has an impact on'. Embarassed Sorry, its been a rough week! BS to deal with everywhere!!!!!

Have a great evening!
Post Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:06 pm 
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What?!, you are right about the levels of investigation that the CA system will be subject to over the coming months! We as taxpaying citizens do owe Ron Fonger, The Flint Journal, and whatever prompted their investigation, a debt of gratitude. No taxpayer-funded system like CA should ever be allowed to operate under the public radar.

Reading the recent stories, it's as if the County Board and WDB just rubber-stamped anything the CA administration presented to them, without question!

This system could be a jewel in a community.

Appreciate the opportunity to discuss these issues with you all.
Post Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:09 pm 
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El Supremo

Avatar for morfie
morfie Oct 10, 2008
The thing is, this has happened before with this agency. Career Alliance was called Jobs Central in the early-mid 1990s. It was the exact same organization; Pamela Loving changed the name to "Career Alliance" when she took over from Greg Eason. Just prior to Eason taking the helm, this agency was hit with an approx. $500,000.00 bill for disallowed costs, most stemming from contracts with a service provider called Greater Flint OIC. Guess who worked at GFOIC? Woodrow Stanley and Michael Fernades. Fernades now runs Human Investment, which received millions in job training dollars from CAI under Loving. A tangled web, indeed! At any rate, Genesee County had to pay the Feds half a million in disallowed costs in the 1990s. Looks like it might happen again. What a sham
Post Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:51 am 
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