Posts Tagged ‘Ardell Galbreth’

State Workforce Consolidation Plan Gains Support From Northern Nevada Elected Officials

By Sean Whaley | 3:35 pm June 20th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Local elected officials representing the Northern Nevada workforce development agency have endorsed a plan to restructure the delivery of job training funds to Nevadans, including eliminating the two local boards now involved in the process.

The 13 local elected officials who oversee the northern agency, called Nevadaworks, have unanimously endorsed the consolidation plan put forward by Frank R. Woodbeck, director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). If approved, the changes are expected to free up $5 million for job training that is now consumed by administrative costs incurred by the two local boards.

“On behalf of the local elected officials of the 13 Northern Nevada counties represented by Nevadaworks, please accept this letter in support of your agency’s plan,” said Norman Frey, chairman of the Nevadaworks board and a Churchill County commissioner, in a letter sent to Woodbeck on June 11.

The statewide Governor’s Workforce Investment Board has also unanimously supported the consolidation plan, which will require a waiver from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Elected officials representing the Southern Nevada workforce agency, called Workforce Connections, are opposing the consolidation effort, however, citing concerns over local control and the potential loss of job training funds in the south.

Gov. Brian Sandoval is strongly in support of the consolidation effort

In an Op-ed column published earlier this month in the Nevada Appeal, he said the plan will not change the structure of the workforce investment areas (one north and one south); and will not change the allocation of funding to the areas, which is set by the Department of Labor.

“This new plan calls for greater collaboration between workforce development and the newly restructured Governor’s Office Economic Development, which earlier this year released its plan under the ‘Moving Nevada Forward’ label as well,” he said. “A key area of focus for my administration is building the type of trained workforce that will support economic diversification.”

Woodbeck said he is pursing the consolidation, outlined in a plan called “Moving Nevada Forward – A Plan for Excellence in Workforce Development” in part because of excessive administrative costs identified in audits of Workforce Connections.

The most recent audit, performed by the state Division of Internal Audits, found that Workforce Connections spent nearly twice as much on administration and monitoring of its programs than its northern counterpart.

But it is also about efficiency and linking job training with the state’s new plan for economic diversification and job growth, he said.

Ardell Galbreth, interim executive director of Workforce Connections since April, has testified that he has made numerous spending reductions at the agency as a result of the audit, including eliminating staff and reducing several six-figure salaries.

Woodbeck said the consolidation plan calls for significant change

Woodbeck said in a telephone interview today that he would like to have the support of both local boards in seeking the waiver from the Department of Labor, but that he will move forward regardless. The wavier will be filed July 1 along with the state’s plan, with a decision expected by the fall.

“Efficiency and effectiveness is really what we’re trying to achieve here,” Woodbeck said. “And it is a change in the system. And when you change anything, people get a little nervous about that.”

The two local boards have been in existence since the Workforce Investment Act was signed into law in 1998.

The consolidation, if approved, will still keep local elected officials involved in the process, including representation on the governor’s board and on the seven Industry Sector Councils created as part of Sandoval’s overall economic diversification and development strategy, he said.

“So it’s really a transferring of the expertise, essentially,” Woodbeck said. “To either the governor’s board or to the Industry Sector Councils. And in fact the governor has agreed to expand the number of local elected officials on the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board. So they will really be the oversight folks and they will have four local elected officials on there from various regions.”

Currently, funding is provided from the federal Department of Labor to the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board and funneled to two local boards, one in Southern Nevada and the other in Northern Nevada. These boards in turn contract with public and private organizations to offer workforce training programs to youth and adult and dislocated workers.

Funding would continue to flow to these public and private organizations under the new consolidation plan.

The U.S. Department of Labor provided about $29.5 million in fiscal year 2011 to Nevada for the programs that are intended to help improve the employability of participants, including both youth and adults.

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Audio clips:

DETR Director Frank Woodbeck says change is not always easy:

062012Woodbeck1 :10 nervous about that.”

Woodbeck says Gov. Brian Sandoval has agreed to expand local elected representation on the state investment board:

062012Woodbeck2 :26 from various regions.”

State Workforce Board Approves Consolidation Plan Opposed By Southern Nevada Officials

By Sean Whaley | 3:32 pm June 14th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The Governor’s Workforce Investment Board today unanimously approved a plan to consolidate two local boards in an effort to free up $5 million in federal funds to train the unemployed.

The move, which requires approval from the U.S. Department of Labor, is opposed by Workforce Connections, the Southern Nevada workforce investment board.

The vote came after Ardell Galbreth, interim executive director of the local board, restated his opposition to the proposal, which was developed after an audit identified excessive spending by the local board on administrative costs. Other Southern Nevada officials also oppose the move, and they expressed their opposition at a public hearing on Monday.

Frank Woodbeck, director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), said the proposal to consolidate the two local boards with the state board will be submitted to the Department of Labor by the end of the month. A decision is expected by the end of the year, he said.

DETR Director Frank Woodbeck.

Woodbeck said it wasn’t just the most recent audit, but earlier reports that also identified concerns, which led to the decision to move forward with consolidation.

“So it was after long deliberation, and after a history of facts, that we reached this particular conclusion,” he said.

“This new plan will result in a significant amount of funds being spent directly for much-needed services, as we are essentially removing an administrative layer of expense,” Woodbeck said when the consolidation plan was announced last month.

Galbreth, who has been interim director of Workforce Connections only since April, has taken a number of actions to reduce administrative costs, including reducing the staff from 72 to 34.

Galbreth read a letter at the meeting of the state board, saying the state plan prepared by DETR has many good elements.

“However, with considerable thought and all due respect to the governor and the state officials, the Southern Nevada Workforce Investment Area Chief Local Elected Official Consortium strongly opposes the state plan to establish a single, consolidated workforce investment board to oversee the delivery of statewide workforce development services,” he said.

Concerns are whether Southern Nevada will continue to receive a full share of funding under the new configuration, and the view that local control of the funds is superior to having the money distributed by a statewide board, Galbreth said.

Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, a member of the state board, questioned why local officials would oppose the plan.

“The dollars need to get out to the community,” she said.

Gov. Brian Sandoval is moving forward with the proposal despite the opposition, saying the consolidation will put more money into efforts to train the unemployed to find jobs.

The audit found that Workforce Connections spent nearly twice as much on administration and monitoring of its programs than its northern counterpart. Following the release of the audit, DETR announced its plan to consolidate the two local boards with the state board.

Currently, funding is provided from the federal Department of Labor to the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board and funneled to two local boards, one in Southern Nevada and the other in Northern Nevada. These boards in turn contract with public and private organizations to offer workforce training programs to youth and adult and dislocated workers.

The U.S. Department of Labor provided about $29.5 million in fiscal year 2011 to Nevada for the programs that supported over 26,000 participants. The programs are intended to help improve the employability of participants.

In announcing the plan to change the operation of the boards, Sandoval said: “This new plan calls for greater collaboration between workforce development and the newly restructured Governor’s Office Economic Development, which earlier this year released its plan under the ‘Moving Nevada Forward’ label as well. A key area of focus for my administration is building the type of trained workforce that will support economic diversification.”

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Audio clips:

Ardell Galbreth, interim executive director of Workforce Connections, says Southern Nevada officials oppose the consolidation plan:

061412Galbreth :22 workforce development services.”

Frank Woodbeck, director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), says it was not just the recent audit but previous findings that led to the proposal:

061412Woodbeck :07 this particular conclusion.”

Gov. Sandoval Pushing Forward With Workforce Board Consolidation Despite Opposition

By Sean Whaley | 1:10 pm June 13th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval said today he plans to move forward with the consolidation of two local workforce investment boards even though several Southern Nevada officials testified in opposition to the plan at a public hearing on Monday.

Sandoval said an audit by the state Internal Audit Division showed that not enough of the U.S. Department of Labor money was going to train the unemployed in Southern Nevada so they can find jobs. He said Southern Nevada officials will be well represented on the state board, which would assume control of the funding if the Labor Department gives its OK to the plan.

Gov. Brian Sandoval. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

“That wasn’t surprising,” he said of the testimony in opposition from Southern Nevada officials, including Ardell Galbreth, interim executive director of the Southern Nevada board called Workforce Connections. “I think everybody recognizes that that audit was conducted, and a lot of money was not getting to the people who need it the most.

“This effort is not to punish anybody,” Sandoval said. “It is to ensure that the monies that are collected, as much of that money can get to the beneficiaries, the people of the community. The folks in Southern Nevada will be very well represented on the statewide workforce investment board. And I think as they come to learn more (about) what I’m trying to accomplish, they will see that it is in the best interests of all of those people that they serve.”

The goal is to get as many dollars as possible to those who need training so they can find employment, he said.

The audit found that Workforce Connections spent nearly twice as much on administration and monitoring of its programs than its northern counterpart. Following the release of the audit, the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation announced its plan to consolidate the two local boards with the state board.

Currently, funding is provided from the federal Department of Labor to the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board and funneled to two local boards, one in Southern Nevada and the other in Northern Nevada. These boards in turn contract with public and private organizations to offer workforce training programs to youth and adult and dislocated workers.

The U.S. Department of Labor provided about $29.5 million in fiscal year 2011 to Nevada for the programs that supported over 26,000 participants. The programs are intended to help improve the employability of participants.

Galbreth said when the audit was released that the agency’s 2012 budget was revised to ensure that no more than 20 percent of the funding would go to program and administrative costs. The staff of 72 at the board is also being reduced to 34 by the end of the year if not before, he said. The six-figure salaries provided to five of eight staff have been cut, said Galbreth, who took over as interim director in April.

In announcing the plan to change the operation of the boards, Sandoval said: “This new plan calls for greater collaboration between workforce development and the newly restructured Governor’s Office Economic Development, which earlier this year released its plan under the ‘Moving Nevada Forward’ label as well. A key area of focus for my administration is building the type of trained workforce that will support economic diversification.”

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Audio clips:

Gov. Brian Sandoval says he was not surprised at the opposition to the consolidation plan:

061312Sandoval1 :12 it the most.”

Sandoval says the proposal is not meant as punishment but to get the money to where it is needed most:

061312Sandoval2 :29 that they serve.”

 

Southern Nevadans Oppose Plan To Eliminate Local Workforce Development Board

By Sean Whaley | 12:00 pm June 11th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Representatives and supporters of the Clark County workforce investment board today strongly opposed a plan being pushed by Gov. Brian Sandoval to consolidate the two local boards in an effort to make more money available to train the unemployed.

At a public hearing on Sandoval’s proposal, Ardell Galbreth, interim executive director of Workforce Connections, read a letter opposing the plan, called  “Moving Nevada Forward: A Plan For Excellence in Workforce Development.”

He was joined by other speakers, including René Cantú Jr., executive director of the Latin Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation, and Richard Boulware, first vice president of the Las Vegas chapter of the NAACP, in opposing the consolidation proposal.

“Workforce Connections staff and board are responsive to the needs of local funded partners, and understand our community and our clients, and our own challenges of Southern Nevada nonprofits,” Cantú said. “Ardell Galbreth, interim director, has provided the Latin Chamber Foundation with tremendous commitment of support and here in the south they understand us and are committed to helping us.”

There is an overwhelming consensus in Southern Nevada that consolidation would threaten funding to groups like the Latin Chamber foundation, he said.

Job training tour by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. / Photo courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Labor.

“There’s also an overwhelming consensus that such a move would lead to less sensitivity to local needs, that it would skew funding north, that it would allow (the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitiation (DETR), to allot the funds arbitrarily and without accountability to the community, clients or funded partners,” Cantú said. “Based on these considerations I would ask, respectfully, that the boards be allowed to remain as they are.”

There is a need for reform, and Galbreth is moving in that direction, he said.

Boulware said people in the local community know best what their needs are.

“And what we don’t need, with all due respect to the state and to the governor, are people from outside of our local community telling us what we need and where we need to spend our money,” he said.

The NAACP will be opposing the proposed consolidation at all levels, Boulware said.

DETR officials heard public comment but took no immediate action on the proposal.

Currently, funding is provided from the federal Department of Labor to the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board and funneled to two local boards, one in Southern Nevada and the other in Northern Nevada. These boards in turn contract with public and private organizations to offer workforce training programs to youth and adults and dislocated workers.

Sandoval is moving forward with the consolidation plan following an audit of Workforce Connections that showed excessive spending on administration and other costs.

Galbreth, who took over leadership of the agency in April, said last month in  response to the audit that major changes have been implemented to reduce administrative and other costs.

In announcing the plan to change the operation of the boards, Sandoval said: “This new plan calls for greater collaboration between workforce development and the newly restructured Governor’s Office Economic Development, which earlier this year released its plan under the ‘Moving Nevada Forward’ label as well. A key area of focus for my administration is building the type of trained workforce that will support economic diversification.”

Organizations currently contracted as service providers to citizens for workforce needs will continue in the same capacity, but will be managed by DETR staff instead of the northern and southern board offices. Federal funding designated for each of the local workforce investment areas will remain unchanged; no geographic area of the state gains or loses under the reorganization and existing providers can remain in place if they are delivering the appropriate level of service to the end-user.

The audit of the state’s two local workforce investment boards found the Southern Nevada agency spent nearly twice as much on administration and monitoring of its programs than its northern counterpart.

If the southern board cut its local expenses to mirror those of the northern Nevada board, another $1.9 million would have been available to job seekers in fiscal year 2011, the review found. The audit showed Workforce Connections spent 21 percent on administration and monitoring compared to only 11.3 percent in the north.

Sandoval is seeking to finalize the consolidation by the end of this year.

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Audio clips:

René Cantú Jr., the executive director of the Latin Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation, says Workforce Connections is responsive to the needs of the community:

061112Cantu1 :21 to helping us.”

Cantú Jr. says there are concerns that consolidation will skew funding to the north:

061112Cantu2 :26 as they are.”

Richard Boulware, first vice president of the Las Vegas chapter of the NAACP, says local officials know best how to help the community:

061112Boulware :13 spend our money.”

State Announces Plans To Consolidate Workforce Investment Boards

By Sean Whaley | 12:52 pm May 8th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A state agency announced today it plans to consolidate three separate boards that oversee workforce development into one, resulting in $5 million more in federal funds directed annually to helping train job seekers to find employment.

The plan, “Moving Nevada Forward: A Plan For Excellence in Workforce Development,” was released by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

Currently, funding is provided from the federal Department of Labor to the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board and funneled to two local boards, one in Southern Nevada and the other in Northern Nevada. These boards in turn contract with public and private organizations to offer workforce training programs to youth and adult and dislocated workers.

But a recent audit of this system by the state Division of Internal Audits revealed that too many federal dollars are lost to administrative and duplicative costs.

“I have charged everyone in my administration with looking closely at the functions of their offices, boards and commissions to eliminate duplications and streamline services with the goal of leveraging resources already available and trimming unnecessary overhead,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said. “This new plan calls for greater collaboration between workforce development and the newly restructured Governor’s Office Economic Development, which earlier this year released its plan under the ‘Moving Nevada Forward’ label as well. A key area of focus for my administration is building the type of trained workforce that will support economic diversification.”

Organizations currently contracted as service providers to citizens for workforce needs will continue in the same capacity, but will be managed by DETR staff instead of the northern and southern board offices. Federal funding designated for each of the local workforce investment areas will remain unchanged; no geographic area of the state gains or loses under the reorganization and existing providers can remain in place if they are delivering the appropriate level of service to the end-user.

“This new plan will result in a significant amount of funds being spent directly for much-needed services, as we are essentially removing an administrative layer of expense,” DETR Director Frank R. Woodbeck said. “Administrative functions would be moved to DETR and community service providers will continue to deliver direct services to job seekers.”

The restructuring is expected to be complete by December 2012.

The audit of the state’s two local workforce investment boards found the Southern Nevada agency spent nearly twice as much on administration and monitoring of its programs than its northern counterpart.

If the southern board cut its local expenses to mirror those of the northern Nevada board, another $1.9 million would have been available to job seekers in fiscal year 2011, the review found. The audit showed the Southern Nevada board, called Workforce Connections, spent 21 percent on administration and monitoring compared to only 11.3 percent in the north.

Ardell Galbreth, interim executive director of Workforce Connections, said that major changes have been implemented to reduce administrative and other costs. He took the position on April 5.

Galbreth said last week the 2012 budget has been revised to ensure that no more than 20 percent of the funding will go to program and administrative costs. The staff of 72 at the board is also being reduced to 34 by the end of the year if not before, he said.

 

Southern Nevada Workforce Board Cuts Staff, Spending After Audit Shows High Administrative Costs

By Sean Whaley | 12:54 pm May 1st, 2012

CARSON CITYAn audit of the state’s two local workforce investment boards has found the Southern Nevada agency spent nearly twice as much on administration and monitoring of its programs than its northern counterpart.

If the southern board cut its local expenses to mirror those of the northern Nevada board, another $1.9 million would have been available to job seekers in fiscal year 2011, the review by the state Division of Internal Audits found. The audit showed the Southern Nevada board, called Workforce Connections, spent 21 percent on administration and monitoring compared to only 11.3 percent in the north.

The audit also noted that the southern board’s budget plans for fiscal year 2012 indicated it intends to use nearly 30 percent of available federal funding on administration, monitoring and other program services.

The U.S. Department of Labor provided about $29.5 million in fiscal year 2011 to Nevada for the programs that supported over 26,000 participants. The programs are intended to help improve the employability of participants.

The audit recommended that the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) and the State Workforce Investment Board, which oversee the program, limit the amount of money the local boards could spend on such expenses.

The audit was reviewed today by the Executive Branch Audit Committee, made up of the six constitutional officers, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, and one public member.

At the meeting, Ardell Galbreth, interim executive director of Workforce Connections, told the committee that major changes have been implemented to reduce administrative and other costs. He took the position on April 5.

Galbreth told the panel that the 2012 budget has been revised to ensure that no more than 20 percent of the funding will go to program and administrative costs. The staff of 72 at the board is also being reduced to 34 by the end of the year if not before, he said. The six-figure salaries provided to five of eight staff have been cut, Galbreth said.

In addition to the savings from the budget cuts, the agency expects another $1.7 million will be added to provide direct employment assistance to those in need, he said.

“I have outlined a budget that has been approved by the southern board, Workforce Connections, where there would be no more than 10 percent for program cost and 10 percent for administrative cost,” Galbreth said. “This past program year we served just over 5,000 clients, 5,149; we’re anticipating that approximately 9,000; almost doubling the amount of clients to be served.

“All of the findings that were discussed or indicated in the report, they either have been addressed or are in the process of being addressed,” he said.

A document provided to the Nevada News Bureau shows that the northern Nevada board, Nevadaworks, employs 11 people at a cost of $823,000 in salary and benefits this year. Chief Executive Officer Tom Fitzgerald is making six figures with salary and benefits totaling $165,000. A second employee is making $102,466 with benefits.

The document showed 50 employees at Workforce Connections with a total salary of $3.2 million. It does not specify if benefits are included in the total.

Former Executive Director John Ball had an annual salary of $168,000. Seven other employees had salaries of $105,000. The document does not show revised salaries or eliminated positions.

The audit also noted that the state is considering seeking a waiver from the Department of Labor to allow for the creation of a single state board to control the funding rather than have the two local boards continue to operate.

Galbreth said local elected officials who serve on the board, as well as community members, are interested in maintaining local control of the program.

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki questioned why it took the audit to prompt the action by Workforce Connections to get its spending under control.

“It should be somewhat startling that it took this process to identify those surplus expenditures; really at a premium to other similar operations not only in the state but in the region,” he said. “I appreciate people wanting local control, usually my philosophical approach is ‘closer is better,’ but I think there is a very compelling story as to why a single state system makes some sense.”

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Audio clips:

Ardell Galbreth of Workforce Connections says positions have been cut and administrative spending reduced:

050112Galbreth1 :26 for administrative cost.”

Galbreth says the spending reductions will mean more money for job seekers:

050112Galbreth2 :13 to be served.”

Galbreth says all the issues raised in the audit are being addressed:

050112Galbreth3 :08 of being addressed”

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki questions why it took the audit to focus on spending by the board:

050112Krolicki :27 makes some sense.”