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Miami Mirror True Reflections

SOUTH FLORIDA WORKFORCE

INTERVIEW WITH AN ARTIST NAMED ELIZABETH


A Miami Dade College Student and South Florida Workforce Client was sold a
Bill of Goods that did not pan out

December 4, 2010
David Arthur Walters
Interviewer for the Miami Mirror
Miami Beach, Florida
Prologue:
The Miami Mirror is currently investigating the possibility that the South Florida Workforce
Investment Board, the members of which are appointed by Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos
Alvarez, and its partner Miami Dade College, which does have or has had representatives sit on
that board along with representatives of other schools, has cooperated and continues to cooperate
in selling grant-funded courses that Workforce clients do not really need for their training or
retraining, and in using other means to maximize grant funding by manipulating requirements for
completion. The subject was brought to our attention by Elizabeth, who wishes to remain
anonymous at this time for personal reasons. When she asked for the degree she was entitled to,
or that the grant money be refunded to the grantors, South Florida Workforce ignored her request
and tried to count her as one of its success stories because she had gotten a job as a matter of
fact, she had gotten that job on her own.

MIAMI MIRROR: Did South Florida Workforce sell you the Miami Dade College program?
ELIZABETH: Yes, they did. I had not even thought of going back to school. I was at the Miami
Beach One-Stop center one day looking for work when the caseworker tapped me on my
shoulder and asked me why I did not go back to college. When I said I could not afford it, she
told me it would be free because there were grants.
MIAMI MIRROR: Pell Grants?
ELIZABETH: No. I had to apply for a Pell Grant in order to be disqualified to get the grant
Workforce got me.
MIAMI MIRROR: What kind of grant was that?
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Miami Mirror True Reflections

ELIZABETH: I dont know. Whats the difference? Why dont you ask them?
MIAMI MIRROR: There are several types of funding. I tried to get the information from South
Florida Workforce for months so I could contact the grantors about your situation, but I was
stonewalled by [Executive Director] Rick Beasley. He said he would have someone look into the
file to see what grants were involved, but then he would not tell me what they were. The
information was not forthcoming from Olivia Almagro, the Workforce information officer, to
whom I was referred after I complained at the state level. She repeatedly demanded that I come
way out to her airport office and speak with her. I knew from previous experience that nothing
would come of that except being put off. So I kept pushing for the info, and was told I would
have to pay fifty dollars for it.
ELIZABETH: Well, they should give the grant money back to the grantor. Workforce did not do
anything for me - nothing. They did not get me a job, and the program was completely
misrepresented to me. I was told I would get the degree I needed for my interior design license,
but they kept stringing me along a path that did not really exist for me. It was just a path for
Miami Dade College to get more and more grant money, thanks to Workforce. The college broke
its promise to accept my transfer credits, and you found out that the interior design program had
not even been approved by the state board for licensure.
MIAMI MIRROR: Did the South Florida Workforce case worker know that Miami Dade
College was stringing you along, that it kept changing the requirements?
ELIZABETH: Of course she did. We spoke about it many times, so she knew all about it. She
sold me the plan and was part of it. She was just doing what she was told to do.
MIAMI MIRROR: How much grant money was involved?
ELIZABETH: The total available was $8,000, but I did not need that because I had so many
exchange credits the college said it would accept. I believe about $3,000 was used. I did not
really need even that because of my many years experience as an interior designer. I was not
retrained by Workforce, you know, which is what the law is about. Actually, none of the courses
I took taught me anything I needed to know about interior design. They knew that. I was
assigned mostly academic courses, courses everyone needs to get a degree.
MIAMI MIRROR: Retraining for the changing economy was just part of it. The Workforce
Investment Act signed by Clinton was part of the conservative movement to get welfare
recipients off welfare and onto payrolls, and, on the liberal side, to train otherwise unemployed
and underemployed poor people. As you know, the welfare and social service business is a huge
industry, and there are a lot of people in it riding on the backs of the poor. For example,
professional bureaucrats like Rick Beasley, who must be making $250,000 a year plus pension
thats an estimate, as they want me to pay them $50 to find out exactly what he earns and for his
performance review. My impression so far is that he [REDACTED] has already filled his carpet
bag with a million dollars.
ELIZABETH: That is too harsh.

~2~

Miami Mirror True Reflections

MIAMI MIRROR: I think there is some truth in it. I would like them to show me otherwise. You
know I have complained about Jorge Gonzales, Miami Beachs city manager, but at least he does
a lot of things to complain about for his two-hundred grand plus pension, and some of the things
are good. According to the Miami Herald, Beasley has barely lifted a finger down here.
ELIZABETH: Still to say that about Mr. Beasley is much too harsh. I do not like it. It is
inappropriate. You should be a more objective reporter.
MIAMI MIRROR: I like the One-Stop idea. People can get everything they need at one place.
But I was shocked when I walked into a center looking for work and saw a big sign asking
clients if they were about to be homeless, and another sign about food stamps.
ELIZABETH: You should not have had that attitude. Food stamps are necessary for many
people, and homeless people can get help, some money, and shelter.
MIAMI MIRROR: I mean to say that my vision of myself in the future was with a good job and
not homelessness and food stamps I did not want that picture in my face.
ELIZABETH: May I tell you that people who desperately need help cannot get everything they
need at the One-Stop centers? They have to go to several different places. I know that from my
work in the victim business.
MIAMI MIRROR: I know. I went into a One-Stop undercover and spoke with a caseworker
about a chef who had fallen on hard times: he was wandering the street with his resume, sleeping
in alleys, asking for food and jobs. The caseworker simply told me that once someone is on the
street, it was too late to get them a job. He gave a photocopy of a list of places people can get
help. It was so blurred from repeated copying that I could barely read it. I looked into some of
the programs on the list and found out that they either did not exist or the addresses had changed.
But the people on the ground at Workforce have good intentions. I think they really want to help
people. But the people they have to work with, many of them ill-suited for employment, is the
reason the real success numbers, not the ones they fudge, are not so great.
ELIZABETH: They did nothing for me but marvel at my qualifications and how they could not
get me a job. So they signed me up for the grant money. They want to make me a success
number, thats all they can think about, the numbers; I understand, as I was a fund raiser myself.
But I am not going for it. They did not get me my job; I see what they were up to now.
MIAMI MIRROR: I dont think many of the Workforce employment counselors themselves
could get and keep a job in private industry, say, with Robert Half International, although I they
are usually very nice people. Besides, employers have reasons for not going to Workforce except
for low-paid, often temporary workers. Workforce has to work with what they have to work
with. Anyway, why did you go along with their education program?
ELIZABETH: Because I trusted them. I wanted to get a license, so I was willing to go through
whatever motions were necessary to get it.
MIAMI MIRROR: Did you have to make some sort of commitment to get into the program?
~3~

Miami Mirror True Reflections

ELIZABETH: You bet I did. They made me sign a commitment that I would complete the
program.
MIAMI MIRROR: But how can you complete a never-ending program?
ELIZABETH: Like I said, I trusted them, and went along thinking that it would have a
conclusion.
MIAMI MIRROR: I still dont understand this open-ended thing. You promise to complete a
program where the conditions of completion are uncertain. You are strung along ad infinitum.
Usually the terms, the number of credits and courses required for a degree are fixed, and if a
college failed to honor its side of the agreement, the student could sue.
ELIZABETH: Not so much anymore. Miami Dade College and others fiddle around with
international students, knowing their visa requirements, manipulating them accordingly. My
daughter said Georgetown was stringing her along, coming up with new requirements, and so on,
and thats what even the best universities resort to.
MIAMI MIRROR: Seems like exchange credits are quite the game to play. Rick Beasley and
Olivia Almagro told me that is normal; that is what colleges do, and that your situation with their
college partner is between you and the college. Did your student advisor lead you on at the
college?
ELIZABETH: I only met with the student advisor a couple of times once to complain about a
woman being harassed in front of the class by a gay teacher over her periods, and then I had to
go higher up to resolve that issue. I often met with the head of the architecture department.
MIAMI MIRROR: What is his name? Did he mislead you?
ELIZABETH: Juan. He is a dear man. He was the angel who was always looking over my
shoulder and helping me. He would meet with me after each semester, and go over what I would
have to do next. Sometimes I did not understand why I would have to take certain courses, but he
was such a gentleman, kind and persuasive. I have kept an email from him that was so sensitive
and profound it brought me to tears.
MIAMI MIRROR: Did he mislead you?
ELIZABETH: What happened is not his fault. I could see that he was disappointed with having
to give me some of the assignments, but there was nothing he could do; it was out of his hands.
MIAMI MIRROR: Did he say you would graduate?
ELIZABETH: Definitely. That is why I doubled up and accelerated at the end, to graduate, that
was our final plan.
MIAMI MIRROR: How did you feel when he told you that your exchange credits were no
longer acceptable because of a policy change?

~4~

Miami Mirror True Reflections

ELIZABETH: Betrayed by a friend. Hurt. But I could see in his eyes that it was not coming from
him, and he did not like what he was doing.
MIAMI MIRROR: You mean you saw guilt in his face?
ELIZABETH: I think so. He was following orders he did not like, at least that is the impression I
got.
MIAMI MIRROR: Did he tell you that your certificate would be good for interior design
licensure, and what the experience requirements are?
ELIZABETH: Yes, and I was surprised to hear that the information he gave me was inaccurate.
MIAMI MIRROR: My take on it is that he naturally confused the requirements for architects
with that of interior designers, and has not read the complex details of the statute lately. The lady
at the Board of Architecture and Interior Design said there is a lot of misinformation circulating
in the student body about the law. People simply do not study it. I recommended that it be part of
the required curriculum. Some students call the Board beforehand to see if Miami Dade College
interior design curricula is approved, and they are told it does not, but they can gamble on their
particular credits being approved by Board during the review process.
ELIZABETH: I just took his word for it, and thought Workforce must have looked into it.
MIAMI MIRROR: The experts certainly should have. It would be negligent not to. Are you
angry at Miami Dade College?
ELIZABETH: Yes, but can I tell you that I loved my experience there? It did not help me with
interior design, but it provided a structure for me during a terrifying time, a time of
unemployment, of not belonging, of not being wanted by employers. I dont like what happened
to me in the end, but I shall always love Miami Dade College.
MIAMI MIRROR: What about the nonsense courses, the academic courses, many of which had
nothing to do with interior design.
ELIZABETH: Frankly, I loved those courses, even the confusing philosophy course. I had
enough mathematics for interior design, but the math classes at Miami Dade College really
helped me to focus my mind, to concentrate on things. I would go to college the rest of my life if
I could. I even thought about applying for a job at the college, but they were laying people off
with the recession.
MIAMI MIRROR: What about that course in design taught by a teacher so badly that almost
everyone failed? I think you said you got a C.
ELIZABETH: I did not! I never received a grade less than an A! I was an honor student! The
college knew what happened with that teacher and took care of it. She asked me to teach the
course for her.

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Miami Mirror True Reflections

MIAMI MIRROR: It seems to me that interior design is really just a trade, and was brought into
colleges as part of the movement to render the population more and more dependent on higher or
academic education, expensive education for a decent livelihood. Hundreds of interior designers
are practicing the trade throughout the state without a certificate or license, and one never hears
about it because nobody complains; they dont even know interior designers are supposed to
have certified education and a license. I hear only three states including Florida require licensure.
Do you believe it is just a trade, that it could be learned in a trade school or on the job?
ELIZABETH: Yes and yes.
MIAMI MIRROR: I understand that architecture was considered as a trade during the gothic
period, that its principles or laws of the trade were secret, and that the trade itself was towards
the bottom of the totem pole, thought to be for the lower class of people, so to speak. Dont you
think it is interesting that there is a Florida law for architects and interior designers entirely
separate from the contractor law.
ELIZABETH: Well, I can say that interior designers are just peons compared to architects. Quite
frankly, I am thinking I might as well just forget about being a top Miami interior designer, over
this license thing. I am an excellent interior designer, but they will not let me call myself that
without a license, so maybe I will just move to a better state to practice my art.
MIAMI MIRROR: Interior design is an art?
ELIZABETH: I am an artist. That is what I am and have always been.

~6~

Miami Mirror True Reflections

SOUTH FLORIDA WORKFORCE

THE CASE OF ELIZABETH


The Workforce Investment Act Regional Board Game, the College
Transfer Credit Game, and the Local Autonomy Game, Lessons in
Wasting Money and Passing the Buck

December 16, 2010


By David Arthur Walters
MIAMI MIRROR
Miami Beach, Florida
Elizabeth was well off and well known in the highest social circles. She had lived the high life.
She enjoyed her fine wardrobe, the world travel, the private plane, the residences all over the
world, especially the Waldorf apartment in Manhattan. She enjoyed keeping her households in
order, advancing charitable causes, entertaining wealthy and powerful people she was one of
them for awhile. But she did not enjoy the brutal beatings. She did not like being suddenly and
without warning punched in the face for the hell of it, or being thrown down stairs and having
her back broken and spending months in the hospital. That is not something any woman in her
right mind would like to suffer.
Her last husband turned out to be a fraudster despite his high rank. She tried to save her
marriage, spending a great deal of her personal savings on his rehabilitation. She finally got a
divorce. The property settlement did her no good because law enforcement had seized almost
everything. She wound up in Miami with a restraining order, her wardrobe, her wedding ring,
and a hard drive with enough evidence on it to help ruin her former husband, who was running
more cons elsewhere, and to put him in prison for life.
The proceeds from the ring were barely enough to live on for a brief spell. She did not whimper
and whine, become a professional victim. She rented a respectable little apartment, donned what
remained of her fine clothes, held her chin high and forged ahead on her lonesome. She got a
low-paying job raising funds for abused women and children. She was well suited for the job at
the time, but she was laid off with the economic downturn. She applied for unemployment. A
woman at the Workforce One-Stop sold her on the idea of getting a government-funded degree
in interior design at Miami Dade College. She already had considerable experience in that field,
and quite a few college credits to boot. She had been employed as an artist with a national firm;
her job included illustrating the interiors of historic estates. A prenuptial agreement had
precluded her from working a regular job for quite a while, which gave her the opportunity to
further her art studies at the finest schools.
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Miami Mirror True Reflections

She committed to finishing the program at Miami Dade College. Her Workforce and Miami
Dade College advisors said the interior design curricula qualified graduates to sit for the exam at
the Board of Architecture and Design, a prerequisite for licensure in the field. She could
eventually go into the interior design business for herself in Florida. The college eventually
agreed to accept her credits. Many of the classes she had to take were merely academic, had
nothing to do with interior design; she knew so much about the subject that she could have
taught the classes that appertained. Suffice it to say that she was an honor student, and went
along with the program. She accelerated her studies to complete the interior design program in
her final semester, and was told she would graduate upon passing the last exam. As Fate or God
would have it, she got a job in interior design just before she took the exam, and she proceeded
to work long hours, seven days a week, due to demand from high-end clients. Her college
advisor, the head of the architecture department, said she would have to work for an interior
designer for three years before she could get a license.
I became acquainted with Elizabeth in downtown Miami one day. I spoke with her often since
then. She became one of my heroes even though she is an arch-conservative Republican; I was,
at least before I met her, a bleeding-heart liberal and muckraker. There was much to disagree
about I dared not say a critical word about President Bush et al in her presence, and that
certainly cramped my style. Still, I could not help admire her courage, determination and
perseverance. Once she made up her mind to do something, that was it, come hell or high water,
and she did it damned well, so forget about trying to dissuade her. I was very proud of her when I
heard that the time had come for her to graduate. I told her I wanted to write about her, to tell her
success story.
And then the bad news began. Miami Dade College had changed its policy retroactively, would
not accept Elizabeths transfer credits, so she would practically have to start all over again, take
courses she could teach even better than the Miami Dade College teachers.
She was not the only one. The scuttlebutt was that the college was playing the Transfer Credit
Game, manipulating acceptance and denial of credits obtained elsewhere in order to increase its
tuition revenue. For example, by making Elizabeth take the beginning courses, the college might
milk the grantors for another $5,000. That is of course peanuts compared to the $27 million in
federal stimulus funds Miami Dade College expects to receive by 2011, but every little bit adds
up. Enrollment has gone up 15 percent at the college since 2007, and tuition dollars are growing
to boot.
Miami Dade College is not the only community college that plays the Transfer Credit Game: The
Washington, D.C. Center for Progress October 2010 report by Rebecca Klein-Collins, Amy
Sherman, and Louis Soares, entitled Degree Completion Beyond Institutional Borders Responding to the New Reality of Mobile and Nontraditional Learners, states that time and effort
and money are being wasted annually due to transfer credit barriers at educational institutions.
The average community college student earns 140 credits in the course of pursuing a bachelors
degree, even though typically only 120 credits are necessary. Those 20 extra credits represent
individual time, effort, and money, but they also represent public investment in the form of
federal Pell grants and state subsidies to public colleges. All of this adds up to billions of dollars
annually once all of the costs of wasted credit are factored instudent-paid tuition dollars, state
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subsidies to public institutions, student financial aid, and delayed tax revenue when students take
longer to access higher-paying jobs that require college degrees.
The authors did not point out that colleges are deliberately playing the Transfer Credit Game to
raise funds for their respective institutions, for that would offend the audience they were writing
for; instead, blame is laid on disarticulation i.e. the failure of institutions to agree on what credits
are mutually acceptable. The authors lamented that transfer credit policy are preventing colleges
from meeting President Obamas goal of more college degrees by 2020, but they fail to address
reality by pointing out that there will never be enough high-paying jobs for college graduates,
and that the notion that higher education can solve the problem of low wages, underemployment
and unemployment is an American Dream or myth costing citizens trillions of dollars.
Elizabeth put on her stoic face when she broke the news to me: my success story was going
down the drain because Miami Dade College was playing the Transfer Credit Game. I could feel
her pain, but she was not about to show it to anyone. She was not about to lay herself down and
whine like an abused dog.
Surely, I thought, there must be some innocent mistake, so I called Rick Beasley, Executive
Director of the South Florida Workforce Investment Board. The South Florida Workforce
Investment Board is a creature of the South Florida Employment and Training Consortium Board
created by an Interlocal Agreement between Miami-Dade County and Monroe County for the
purpose of acting on behalf of the elected officials whose representatives sit on the Consortium
Board. It receives grant money, assumes financial liability according to state and federal law, and
is responsible for appointing the members of the South Florida Workforce Investment Board.
The personal power at the center of the local structure is presently Miami Dade County Mayor
Carlos Alvarez, who is responsible for the appointment of the members of the boards. Local
board duties include planning and oversight, budgeting, collecting data, promoting private sector
involvement in the statewide investment system, and negotiating agreement on performance
measures. The South Florida Workforce Investment Board may not directly provide services to
the public, but it selects One Stop operators that do as well as youth service providers. For
example, in the South Beach area of Miami Beach, the One-Stop operator selected is Unidad
Miami Beach, Inc., a non-profit corporation controlled by influential Cuban Americans and
doing its One-Stop business as Unidad MBHCC (Miami Beach Hispanic Community Center). It
was this One-Stop business that sold Elizabeth the Miami Dade College courses
Rick Beasley promised to look into the matter. He noted that the Transfer Credit Game is par for
the course at many colleges, so he would have to take a look at the file. He had Assistant
Director Sergio Perez speak with Elizabeth. Mr. Perez insisted on trying to claim her as a success
story because she had gotten a job.
There was no way she would accept that falsehood, Elizabeth told him. South Florida Workforce
had done nothing to get her a job. She got the job through a friend because of her reputation for
interior design. The only way she could be claimed as a success story is if she were given the
degree she had been promised. Otherwise, she said, the grant money should be refunded to the
grantor. She wrote a 25 August letter to Mr. Perez and Mr. Beasley to that effect, copying
Eduardo Padron, the president of Miami Dade College. She said she was shocked that not a
single person had yet responded to her two months hence.
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I repeatedly followed up with Mr. Beasley, to no avail. I was greeted with silence and
prevarication, and concluded that the highly paid professional bureaucrat was evasive. He was
stonewalling me, probably thinking I would just go away like most people probably do. But I
was not about to get lost. I happen to be a person whose friends sometimes plead Please dont
when I promise to look into something they mention. Something was wrong here, and I could
feel the pain. A lawyer told me years ago that when one feels injured by someone elses conduct,
most likely there is legal ground to take a stand against that person, although one may lose the
case.
Qui tacet consentire videtur, I quoted the now obsolete legal maxim to Mr. Beasley on
October 13, 2010. Given your silence on the issues presented to you several times, I shall now
proceed with the belief that your silence confirms the allegations as being true.
Good Afternoon, he replied. Since raising the alleged training allegation regarding
[Elizabeth], SFW staff and Career Center Provider staff have been in communication with her.
Please be mindful that I'm not at liberty to discuss (Elizabeths] case due to the information
being confidential. However, SFW staff and Career Center staff have and will continue to assist
[Elizabeth]. Again, thank you for bringing the issue to my attention.
Nonsense: Mr. Beasley was prevaricating. Professional bureaucrats prefer to ignore, evade, and
procrastinate when there is no deadline pressure and no certain penalties for unresponsiveness
when information conflicting with their biases is presented. He had done nothing to respond to
Elizabeths 25 August plea for her degree or a refund to the grantors. His staff had not assisted
Elizabeth in the matter, and it was evident they had no such intention. Evidently he figured from
long experience that he could get away with doing nothing. Someone could always make a
formal grievance to some obscure department if it could be found, but that would be to little or
no avail either, for its purpose is to pave over hypocrisy with sophisticated casuistry.
As for the confidentiality of the information, the public records law provides for civil and
criminal penalties and attorneys fees when public information is not provided on request; certain
information is exempt. The Florida law governing the regional workforce boards states that the
public disclosure law applies to them. I asked twice to see the file, and offered to provide
Elizabeths authorization if need be, to no avail. Mr. Beasley was not even going to tell me what
he knew, i.e. what funding programs were involved, who the grantors were most recently, the
information was offered provided that a fee of $50 be paid. Worrisomely, the file had apparently
been misplaced when Elizabeth dropped by the One-Stop, where her complaint was ignored as
the case worker, following the party line, insisted she was a success story instead of representing
a failure of South Florida Workforce to understand and oversee its educational partners training
programs.
My subsequent investigation brought to light the fact that the Miami Dade College interior
design curricula had not been approved by the Florida Board of Architecture and Interior Design,
as represented by Workforce and Miami Dade College, therefore qualification for licensure was
not even assured although the Board could take a look at the credits earned there just as it could
look at the credits of out-of-state institutions. And I discovered that Elizabeth might not be
required to serve as a virtual apprentice to another interior designer, for a provision in the law
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Miami Mirror True Reflections

allows licensure for those who have three years of education, without graduation, and three years
of experience, provided it is approved of by Board review.
Florida is only one of three states that requires licensure of interior designers; whether or not the
public has an genuine interest in licensing trade is debatable; the definition of interior design is
controversial; and that so-called interior designers are hypothetically practicing interior design
without a license under other names, such as fashion designer, seating designer, collection
coordinator, furniture placement designer, etc. Florida law states that an unlicensed interior
designer can design and decorate the interiors of residences providing the interior designer does
not call herself an interior designer! No kidding: 481.229 Exceptions; exemptions from
licensure (6)This part shall not apply to: (a) A person who performs interior design services or
interior decorator services for any residential application, provided that such person does not
advertise as, or represent himself or herself as, an interior designer.
However, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, in Eva Locke et al
v Joyce Short et al (Case No 4:09cv193-RH/WCS) sanely ruled otherwise on February 4, 2010:
the court held that the Florida statute requiring a person to obtain a license in order to provide
nonresidential interior design servicesas that term is properly construedis constitutional.
But the statute barring a person who provides lawful residential interior-design services without
a license from advertising herself as an interior designer violates the First Amendment. The
case involved unlicensed interior designers, who by law are allowed to practice residential but
not commercial interior design without a license, sued licensed interior designers in their official
capacity as members of the Florida Board of Architecture and Interior Design, because they
believed the law preventing them from representing themselves as interior designers
unreasonably regulated free speech, for one thing, and also infringed on their rights to due
process and equal protection of the laws, because the state requires a license to perform ordinary
tasks that nobody could rationally believe should be subject to licensing, hence irrational
distinctions were drawn by the legislature. Architects make sure walls do not fall down, whereas
interior designers make sure people do not run into or trip over things. The court noted that most
states had rejected the argument that the interior designer, distinguished from the architect, like
the physicians assistant from the physician or nurse practitioner from the nurse, should be
licensed to promote competence in the first place, but the Florida legislature certainly had a right
to require licensing in its own state, said the court.
I am here tempted to delve into the fascinating definition of interior design as properly
construed, but that Talmudic excursus must be belayed for now; suffice it to say that South
Florida Workforce and Miami Dade College negligently wasted the grant money as well as
Elizabeths time and effort: they either innocently, negligently, or fraudulently misrepresented
the requirements for licensure as an interior designer in Florida. She was already an
accomplished interior designer, perhaps with enough academic credits and years of experience to
qualify for licensure without further education, provided that the Board of Architecture and
Interior Design approve of her credentials and she passed its exam. She could hold herself out in
Florida as an interior designer of residential interiors without a license; she could practice
interior design without a license in 47 states. Most of the courses she was required to take by
Miami Dade College had nothing or little to do with interior design. The grant money would

~5~

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have been put to better use as direct funding to her to set up her own business as a residential
interior designer.
However that might be, I was perturbed by Rick Beasleys evasiveness and deceptiveness, and
by the fact that not a single soul at South Florida Workforce or Miami Dade College had
bothered to address the concerns Elizabeth had raised in her August 25 plea to them for her
degree or a refund to the grantors. I took her plea and my own complaint about the potential
wastage of millions of grant dollars at Miami Dade College and the irresponsible behavior of its
partner, South Florida Workforce, upstairs, to Florida Governor Charlie Crist. The governors
office referred the matter to Workforce Florida Inc.
Workforce Florida Inc. is the non-profit corporation that monitors and oversees the
administration of statewide Workforce policy and all activities including designating local areas,
reviewing local plans, and the programs and services implemented by the local boards. It is not a
government entity, and is not in any manner subject to the control of the state agency named the
Agency for Workforce Innovation. It is obliged by law to design and implement strategies that
help Floridians enter, remain in, and advance in the workplace, to serve as the statewide
Workforce Investment Board pursuant to the federal Workforce Investment Act, and to
providing oversight and policy direction to ensure that relevant Workforce programs are properly
administered by the Agency for Workforce Innovation in compliance with approved plans and
under contract with Workforce Florida, Inc.
I received a response to my communication to Governor Crist, from Adriane Grant, Director of
External Affairs for Workforce Florida, Inc. She referred the matter back to the local level, with
advice that the state Agency for Workforce Innovation may be contacted if the local workforce
investment board, namely South Florida Workforce Investment Board, is unresponsive that
was, in fact, the nub of my complaint to the governor!
It appears the issues you raise on behalf of [Elizabeth] require local attention and resolution
with Miami Dade College and South Florida Workforce, which oversees the delivery of
workforce-system training in Miami Dade and Monroe counties. I have been informed by Mr.
Rick Beasley, Executive Director of South Florida Workforce that local workforce staff
members have tried to reach [Elizabeth] to further understand the issues she has raised and assist
her, as appropriate. We strongly urge customer inquiries such as these be addressed at the level
nearest the customer. However, in cases in which that is not possible, we do have protocols for
customer-service complaints that may require state intervention to resolve satisfactorily. This
protocol includes contacting the Agency for Workforce Innovation, the state agency responsible
for administrative and fiscal affairs of the workforce system, which [Elizabeth] may ultimately
choose to do after exhausting all local opportunities for remedy.
The truth of the matter is that Rick Beasley was stonewalling, and that his claim of reaching out
to Elizabeth was deceptive, as neither he nor his staff nor the college had made any attempt
whatsoever to contact her in response to her August 25 plea for justice. A stone wall exhausts
anyone who cares to but his or her head up against it time and time again, wasting a great deal of
time and energy no doubt the bureaucrats behind it are accustomed to people becoming
exhausted and going away without further ado. The only opportunity a stone wall presents is in
~6~

Miami Mirror True Reflections

climbing over it, going upstairs, which is what was done in this case, for dealing with the South
Florida Workforce Investment Board was obviously futile.
The issue was also referred to the Floridas Agency for Workforce Innovation, the states leading
workforce agency. The Agency offered nothing except information. It describes itself as a
partner of Workforce Florida, Inc. Its duties are set forth in Section 20.50 of the Florida
Statutes, and include ensuring that the state appropriately administers federal and state workforce
funding by administering plans and policies of Workforce Florida, Inc., under contract with
Workforce Florida, Inc. The Agency receives federal grants and funds and administers them as
directed by the Governor. It expends the funds according to law and as directed by Workforce
Florida, Inc. The statute declares that All program and fiscal instructions to regional workforce
boards shall emanate from the agency pursuant to plans and policies of Workforce Florida, Inc.
Workforce Florida, Inc. shall be responsible for all policy directions to the regional boards. It
has many other duties besides.
I was contacted by the Agencys director of communications, Robby Cunningham. It was
beyond the scope of his office to take decisive action to resolve the issues. His job function in the
matter was naturally limited to public relations functions, to providing information. He could not
take decisive action to resolve the issue. He provided some useful information, which raised even
more questions, and referred me back down to the South Florida Workforce Investment Board.
Thus my trip upstairs was to no avail, and I was sent downstairs to you guessed it Mr.
Beasley, who referred the matter to his communications director, Olivia Almagro. Evidently the
system was a vicious circle. Olivia Almagro, in turn, denied that the South Florida Workforce
Investment Board was responsible for overseeing Miami Dade College in respect to the Transfer
Credit Game, stating that that was a matter entirely between the college and the student. Her
renunciation, made on behalf of the money-distribution power, threw Elizabeth and all like her
back to the wolves in sheeps clothing, where they are left powerless below the money-grubbing
predators in the top offices.
The fact of the matter is that the South Florida Workforce Investment Board is responsible for
oversight, as is the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation and the public-private state
oversight institution, Workforce Florida, Inc. All of the above tend to play Round Robin with
complaints that do not match the self-image projected in overarching plans and reports,
preferring to wash their hands of dissonant information, passing complainants back down to the
offending local authorities for re-victimization. Undue discretion is provided to high political
officials of the locality for the sake of local autonomy; the oversight rhetoric overlooks the
political packs that partner with business to prey on the local populace. They do not have to do
be genuinely responsible: the local power elite, whose tenure has bred it to arrogance, continue
with business-as-usual, as Tallahassee daydreams.
After being put off by Ms. Almagro, who adopted a bureaucratic bullying approach during our
initial conversations, insisting that I not publish negative information about her board, I
discovered that she was also an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College!
Speaking of apparent conflicts of interest, Donna Jennings PhD, Director of Workforce
Education and Development at Miami Dade College, sits on the South Florida Workforce
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Miami Mirror True Reflections

Investment Board. Federal and state Workforce law provides that a member of a board cannot
vote on an issue benefiting the institution she represents. However, the Miami Dade and Monroe
inter-county agreement establishing South Florida Workforce Investment Board provides that a
member simply may not sit on the Board if her institution benefits. Miami-Dade County
Commission Resolution R-315-06 Resolution states:
"Representatives of business appointed to the South Florida Workforce Investment Board by the
Chief Elected Official of Miami-Dade County or by the Chief Elected Official of Monroe
County shall automatically forfeit membership on the South Florida Workforce Investment
Board if the business so represented provides public workforce services with funds provided
through or from Workforce Florida, Inc. during the representatives period of membership on the
South Florida Workforce Investment Board.
Ms. Jennings, whose membership on the Board does create at least an appearance of impropriety,
has thus far not responded to my inquiry to her as to whether or not the local resolution applies to
her. It may apply to other members of the Board who represent private and for-profit educational
institutions. No doubt it will be otherwise interpreted by casuists on board. And never mind that
the state public-private partnership, Workforce Florida Inc., is an apparent conflict of interest
incorporated.
In sum, I was being run around in a vicious circle, hopeful until I became so exhausted by the
opportunities that I gave up, or butted my head up against the local stone wall so hard that I
dropped dead. And that would be perfectly legal, in accord with the Local Autonomy Game.
When the Florida legislature drafted the state law that implemented the federal Workforce
Investment Act, a preference for autonomy was taken into account: Two of the six elements or
basic operating principles embedded in the state law at Section 445.003 Florida Statutes
appertain to local autonomy: (e) Local Board and Private Sector Leadership.--Local boards will
focus on strategic planning, policy development, and oversight of the local system, choosing
local managers to direct the operational details of their one-stop delivery system centers; (f)
Local Flexibility and Integration.--Localities will have exceptional flexibility to build on existing
reforms. Unified planning will free local groups from conflicting micromanagement, while
waivers and WorkFlex will allow local innovations.
With that public law in mind, we should be reluctant to paint prominent members of the power
elite and the Workforce Department of The System too darkly, as if they were forces of darkness
consciously engaged in boardroom conspiracies. The System controls them as well, and what
they do appears to be not only righteous because everyone does it but lawful as well. And the
Law is essentially what rich and powerful people do, and constitutes the legalization of many of
their crimes. Yet quite a few political rights and substantial economic crumbs have been thrown
to the needy. No one is without sin.
We recall that the governing federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 was one product of a
broad, popular social trend involving outsourcing government work to private businesses,
welfare-to-work strategies, and public-private ideology. The Act purportedly provided more
emphasis to the business demand for labor than the labor demand for social welfare benefits like
education I would myself go to school and study the humanities for the rest of my life if I
could. Business would save money by having the government fund education, but it still wants
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Miami Mirror True Reflections

employees relevantly trained, i.e. adept at tasks that enable business to make profits. The public
education cult advances the notion that everyone can get a good education and live prosperously
if not happily ever after.
Now history never precisely repeats itself, but there are similarities between the human tendency,
prior to both the Great Depression and the Great Recession, to cultivate a reign of greed.
Religion worships Absolute Power while Politics distributes it. Money talks; business controls
politics; politics is about the distribution of power i.e. money; the business of government is
business; the government is substantially a business cabinet. Business does not want to do much
for government handouts; it certainly does not want the elected officials it buys to stand in its
way. Business interests should do what they please in order to grow the economy, and the virtue
of small, local business is extolled although small businesses must feed off the hind teats of big
business to survive.
In any event, it is believed that local business-political autonomy, pluralism or blessed
federalism is preferable to strong central federal control. But strong central control may occur
with bad effects in localities too, particularly in localities like Miami Dade County, where Mayor
Carlos Alvarez, utilizing the Cuban and Latin American traditional preference for strong men,
managed to persuade the electorate to abnegate the pluralistic power of the county commission
and approve of a strong mayor system shortly after he was elected he was formerly a police
official. He is the leading elected official who appoints members of the Workforce board, and
Rick Beasley and his staff, including Olivia Almagro, are officially employees of Miami Dade
County. What we have here is one ball of wax with a clique at its core. If you are not a member
if the ruling clique or do not conform to it in one way or the other, your chances of success are
slim.
Miami Dade County, and especially the great city of Miami, is the domain of a tightly-knit
Cuban American faction. The understatement, The Cubans run Miami, is of course not true in
every detail but is true in general respects. Not that the fact is necessarily evil, but the biases and
prejudices must be taken into account by objective observers of all persuasions.
Miami Dade College, for instance, one of the greatest community colleges in the nation, was
firmly established and is now headed by politically powerful Eduardo Padron, known as one of
the principle heroes of the Mariel Exodus when Cubas strong man opened up jails, prisons and
mental institutions for emigration to the United States. Miami Dade Colleges feats in bringing
Hispanic immigrants and other underprivileged groups into the workforce are legendary. The
result has been stupendous. The college is sacred, can do no wrong in most of the eyes of the
community it serves.
Elizabeth was wronged by Miami Dade College, yet she still loves the college. When she was
asked if she was angry at the college, she said, Yes, but can I tell you that I loved my
experience there? It did not help me with interior design, but it provided a structure for me
during a terrifying time, a time of unemployment, of not belonging, of not being wanted by
employers. I dont like what happened to me in the end, but I shall always love Miami Dade
College.

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Miami Mirror True Reflections

As for the academic courses that had nothing to do with interior design, Elizabeth said, Frankly,
I loved those courses, even the confusing philosophy course. I had enough mathematics for
interior design, but the math classes at Miami Dade College really helped me to focus my mind,
to concentrate on things. I would go to college the rest of my life if I could. I even thought about
applying for a job at the college, but they were laying people off with the recession.
The case of Elizabeth demonstrates that local autonomy may be no better than central control; a
right balance is needed between the two, and that adjustments must be made at the center for
difference in local circumstances.
The State of Florida State Workforce Investment Plan 2009-2010 states: Beyond the
requirements set out in federal law and those in Chapter 445, Florida Statutes, the State has
allowed local chief elected officials the maximum level of discretion in appointing local RWB
Board members, while reminding them of the importance of maintaining strong private sector
business leadership and working closely with local business and economic development
organizations to recruit and nominate the best local business leaders.
Far too much discretion and local autonomy has been allowed by the center to the South Florida
Workforce locality. The automatic kicking of information that conflicts with the high opinion
that people at the top of the system have of the system right back down to the local authorities,
throwing people who have been wronged back to the arrogant bureaucrats ensconced below, is a
mistake. Ultimate control over new federal and state grant money and over the hiring and firing
of local chiefs should be at the center. That is why state and federal officials should seriously
consider the case of Elizabeth. And members of the United States Congress should certainly take
the case into account when considering whether or not to reauthorize or radically reform the
Workforce Investment Act.

Public Domain Document

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Miami Mirror True Reflections

SOUTH FLORIDA WORKFORCE

Executive Director Rick Beasleys Astonishing Claim


He said he is determined tobuildonsuchsuccesses.
October 26, 2010
Miami Mirror
by David Arthur Walters
Miami Beach, Florida
The percentage given by South Florida Workforce Director Rick Beasley in his 24 June
2010 Miami Herald editorial entitled Accountability is our priority was astonishing if not
incredible on its face:
The greatest proof of our operational accountability can be seen in our improved
performance, Mr. Beasley effused. For example, 96% of the adult and laid-off workers who
received training funded by South Florida Workforce got a job, according to state official data.
Additionally, 89% of these workers were found to still be employed six months after receiving
training.
Indeed, his claim elicited guffaws from a South Florida Workforce staff member who
sells training programs offered by educational institutions identified in South Florida Workforce
literature as Workforce partners, such as Miami Dade College. The staff member did not want
to be identified for fear of being fired by Mr. Beasley.
Its an easy sell for easy money. The student pays nothing for the government funded
programs, and the providers of training services have not been regularly held accountable for
their performance. There has been a long line of students to get training dollars, which are
inadequate during these hard times, especially given the waste. South Florida Workforce spent
$12,000,000 on training in 2009. Incidentally, Mr. Beasley presented Miami Dade College with a
$1,000,000 check in 2009, to buy materials such as textbooks and uniforms for nursing students
and to help fund a Take Stock in Children program.
According to a report filed by Toluse Olorrunipa and published by the Miami Herald on
11 May 2010, South Florida Workforce performance has been abysmal. Indeed, Mr. Beasley
admitted that the South Florida Workforce had one the worst performances records in the state
when he took over in 2005, but he thinks he has made remarkable improvements. Yet, in 2010,
reportedly fewer than 10% of students funded by South Florida Workforce funders wound up in
jobs over the past three years related to the training. Few schools had returned any of the
undeserved tuition, which can run up to $10,500 per student.
Complaints were made about the appearance of impropriety, i.e. an apparent conflict of
interest: representatives of institutions receiving money are on the investment board awarding it.
For instance, Donna Jennings, dean of workforce education and development at Miami Dade
College was reportedly on the investment board.
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Miami Mirror True Reflections

Money going to bad performers actually increased, according to the newspaper report.
Workforce record-keeping was so badly done that it is impossible to come up with credible
numbers. The training centers themselves said the success rate since 2007 was 29.3%.
Mr. Beasley, in marked denial, claimed the real success rate was 69.4%. In any event,
millions had been lost while, according to Carlos Manrique, a director on the local Workforce
investment board, Mr. Beasley just let the money slide away, paying no attention to it.
Information is not readily available no matter how skewed or inaccurate it might be, not
even to investment board directors; Mr. Manrique actually had to file a formal public records
request to get information about refunds made by the training centers. Mr. Manrique has not yet
responded to a request for information regarding Mr. Beasleys overall performance and
management style.
Again, the success rate claimed for the previous three years was the 29.3% claimed by
the training centers or the 69.4% claimed by Mr. Beasley in May 2010. Yet in June 2010 Mr.
Beasley would apparently have us imply from his statement that the current success rate is an
astounding 96%. How can that be?
A cynical person might think that it might have something to do with his own
performance review. Denishia Robinson, Public Information Specialist for the Agency for
Workforce Innovation has not yet responded to our request for Mr. Beasleys beginning and
current salary, and for a copy of the agreement between South Florida Workforce and its partner
Miami Dade College. And Adriane Grant, Director of External Affairs for Workforce Florida,
Inc., the independent overseer of the Agency for Workforce Innovation, has not yet responded to
our request to discuss Mr. Beasleys performance or nonperformance.
To be fair, Mr. Beasley did not explicitly state that the training programs were completed
or that the jobs obtained were in fields related to the training. He said: 96% of the adult and
laid-off workers who received training funded by South Florida Workforce got a job, according
to state official data. Additionally, 89% of these workers were found to still be employed six
months after receiving training.
Those numbers could include someone who enrolled in training, dropped out after a few
days, and got a job in an entirely unrelated field. Perhaps someone who gave up on becoming a
public relations specialist, and out of desperation got a job serving burgers at Burger King, might
be counted as training success because serving burgers calls for relations with the public. Who
knows what is behind the numbers? What the proud Mr. Beasley has bragged about may
amount to virtually nothing. For all know, all the improvements he otherwise lists may be
rhetorical instead of real.
We note that one of Mr. Beasleys job qualifications, for a starting salary of $150,000 $180,000, was Ability to work effectively with the media. That is, he must have public relation
skills, which includes Ability to make effective public presentations. He must put people first,
respect people, command their respect, and motivate them. And he had to have a bachelors
degree along with some working knowledge of state and federal funding sources along with
knowledge of regulations. The deadline for applications was 23 May 2005, and he was hired.
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Miami Mirror True Reflections

The job description did not say that he must be able to deceive people, to stonewall the
media, to respond to inquiries with silence or to respond evasively, or otherwise avoid
responsibility and accountability. Of course if the state and federal government, the taxpayers,
the workforce including his own employees, and the media do not hold him accountable, that is
not his fault. Therefore I sent him the following request, wherein I courteously gave him the
benefit of the doubt, on 4 June 2010:
Rick Beasley, Director
SOUTH FLORIDA WORKFORCE
Re: Miami Herald June 4, 2010 op ed 'Accountability is our priority'
Dear Mr. Beasley:
Congratulations and thank you for the stellar performance of South Florida
Workforce in obtaining sustained employment for workers who received training:
"96 percent of the adult and laid-off workers who received training funded by
South Florida Workforce got a job, according to state official data. Additionally,
89 percent of those workers were found to still be employed six months after
receiving training."
The statistics quoted seem to be out of sync with previous Miami Herald reports
that refunds were being or might be sought from the institutions doing the training
because many students were not completing the programs. Would you please
comment on that issue, and e-mail me a copy of the statistical report you are
referring to in your article?
Thank you!
David Arthur Walters
Journalist

I did not receive a reply from Mr. Beasley to my original message or to follow-ups, not until I
mentioned that I would proceed to blow a whistle without him. And then he still did not provide
me with the statistical report, or his explanation for the seeming discrepancy. One might think
that a person skilled in public relations would be happy to do just that.

##

~3~

Miami Mirror True Reflections


SOUTH FLORIDA WORKFORCE

TAKE IT DOWN!
South Florida Workforce Public Information Officer demands immediate removal of critical
media coverage
November 5, 2010
MIAMI MIRROR
Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Mirrors investigative reporter David Arthur Walters was astonished when he received a
telephone call from South Florida Workforce Public Information Officer Olivia Almagro on 2
November demanding the removal of a Miami Mirror article from the Internet. The article was
dated October 26 and facetiously entitled, Executive Director Rick Beasleys Astonishing
Claim.
The South Florida Workforce executive director, formerly the Director of the Missouri Division
of Workforce Development, was hired to run South Florida Workforce in 2005. He claimed a
96% success rate for his South Florida operation: The greatest proof of our operational
accountability can be seen in our improved performance, Mr. Beasley effused in his 24 June
2010 Miami Herald editorial. For example, 96% of the adult and laid-off workers who received
training funded by South Florida Workforce got a job, according to state official data.
Additionally, 89% of these workers were found to still be employed six months after receiving
training.
To be fair, we noted that Mr. Beasley did not explicitly state that the training programs were
completed or that the jobs obtained were in fields related to the training. After all, those numbers
could include someone who enrolled in training, dropped out after a few days, and got a job in an
entirely unrelated field. Perhaps someone who gave up on becoming a public relations specialist,
and out of desperation got a job serving burgers at Burger King, might be counted as training
success because serving burgers calls for relations with the public. Who knows what is behind
the numbers? What the proud Mr. Beasley bragged about may amount to virtually nothing, and
aroused our suspicion that other improvements he would take credit for might be rhetorical rather
than real.
Mr. Beasley has been a controversial figure with South Florida Workforce employees themselves
since he was hired, beginning with a grueling annual meeting in a dirty venue; refreshments were
reportedly not served as they had been in the past; cutbacks in the number of service centers
during hard-pressed times were announced to tired and hungry employees. That was followed by
an alleged downgrade in health care coverage benefits. Over the last five years, employees
grumbling about his human resources management and workforce development techniques has
mounted.

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Miami Mirror True Reflections


According to the 2005 advertisement for the executive director position, Mr. Beasleys starting
salary must have been from $150,000 to $180,000. A 25 October a voicemail request was placed
with the Agency for Workforce Innovation for his starting and current salary; that request was
discussed with the Agencys director of communications on 1 November; we have not received
the information in time for this release.
We emailed Mr. Beasley in good faith on 4 June, the day his astonishing claim was published by
the Miami Herald, and said the state numbers did not seem to jibe with the numbers given by a
Miami Herald report, which stated that refunds were being or might be sought from the
institutions doing the training because many students were not completing the programs. Our
request to Mr. Beasley was courteous, not mentioning the incredulous guffaws his editorial had
garnered at a South Florida Workforce One-Stop Center. He did not respond to the original
request or to follow-ups until we mentioned a whistleblower, and then he did not provide us with
access to his data.
When Olivia Almagro demanded that the Miami Mirror article be taken down, she said that
South Florida Workforce wanted it removed because it was based on erroneous Miami Herald
reports. We had conversed on that very issue the previous day, 1 November, and the Miami
Mirror investigative reporter then said that one of his pet peeves was the Heralds record of
publishing falsehoods.
I would be more than glad to go after the Herald for false reporting, and have done so in the
past, David Arthur Walters said. All too often, I have learned that Herald reports I had relied
on were false. In one case, I discovered the Miami Herald information I had spread all over the
world was not only false but probably libelous. The Herald refused to publish retractions or
corrections, and its writers accepted awards for the stories although they were filled with
repetitious falsehoods. If you show me the falsehoods, I will be glad to go after the Herald again,
and with a passion.
But on 2 November Ms. Almagro wanted the Miami Mirror removed from the Internet,
immediately, and demanded that it be removed prior to stating just what the Miami Herald errors
were. We offered to incorporate whatever objections she might make, place them in the Miami
Mirror article itself, but we refused to remove the article, and suggested that she call the Miami
Herald editors and make her demand to them, that they remove their own article from the
Internet servers at once, because other journalists all over the world are referring it, and see what
the editors say to that. She said that objections had indeed been made to the Herald, referencing
the falsehoods. As of this writing, she had not put her objections in writing to the Miami Mirror.
For all we know at this time, the offensive Herald article was right on the mark.
The Miami Herald article cited, Has South Florida Workforce Training Done The Job?
published on 11 May, was penned by seasoned Miami Herald reporter Toluse Olorrunipa. We
tried to reach him on 2 November, and left him a voicemail citing Ms. Almagros demand and
asking him to discuss the matter with him. In exchange, he was invited to take a look at our
investigative file on South Florida Workforces partnership with Miami Dade College, an issue
that might have national significance if the particular colleges conduct, allegedly stringing

~2~

Miami Mirror True Reflections


students along to take unnecessary courses in order to milk the government of funding up to
maximums allotted, is widespread. Mr. Olorrunipa has not responded by the time of this release.

~3~

Miami Mirror True Reflections

SOUTHFLORIDAWORKFORCE

THECONFLICTOFINTERESTINHERENTINTHESOUTHFLORIDAWORKFORCE
TheRootoftheEvilCalledGoodisnotinFlorida
November25,2010
MiamiBeach,Florida
THEMIAMIMIRROR
EditorialbyDavidArthurWalters

WithheartfeltthankstoAmericatheBeautiful
Olivia Almagro, spokesperson for the regional workforce investment board that calls itself
SouthFloridaWorkforceitisafictitiousnamewasadamantinherinsistencethattheMiami
MirrortakedownoneofitsarticlesfromtheInternetbecausethearticlereferredtooffensive
contentproducedbyseasonedreporterToluseOlorunnipaandpostedontheInternetbythe
MiamiHeraldonMay11,2010undertheheading,HasSouthFloridaWorkforcetrainingdone
thejob?
The occasion for the discussion with Ms. Almagro was the claim of a Miami Dade College
student that Miami Dade College was requiring courses that had nothing to do with the
program promoted to her, and, when the time for graduation had come, the college, which
South Florida Workforce identifies as its partner, reneged on its earlier promise to accept
transfercreditsfromsuperiorschools.SouthFloridaWorkforcehadpreviouslysoldthestudent
on the idea of enrolling in a free i.e. governmentfunded interior design program at Miami
Dade College in order to get the credential required for licensure by the Florida Board of
ArchitectureandInteriorDesign.
It appeared that Miami Dade College was simply changing its transfer credit policy under an
openended relationship with its partner, South Florida Workforce,to string along students
and milk the public for the maximum amount allowable under the grants. The college can
virtually do nothing wrong because of the early reputation the college and its politically
connectedfounderandcurrentpresidentEduardoPadrongainedbyeducatingandplacinginto
the workforce the massive influx of Cubans who immigrated into South Florida when Fidel
Castro opened up the tiny nations jails, prisons and mental hospitals to inmates willing to
emigratetotheUnitedStates.Theresultsareindeedstupendous,andMr.Padrondeservesthe
designationofhero.
The student demanded that she be given the degree promised and required for licensure, or
that the grant money be refunded. It turned out that the Board of Architecture and Interior
DesignhadnotevenapprovedoftheMiamiDadeCollegeInteriorDesigncurriculabecausethe
college had not bothered to apply for approval. Neither South Florida Workforce nor Miami
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Miami Mirror True Reflections

DadeCollegerespondedtothestudents25August2010letterofcomplaintandrequest.The
Miami Mirror proceeded with its investigation and published an article referring to South
FloridaWorkforcesdeplorablerecordrevealedbytheMiamiHerald.
The daily newspapers critical statements about South Florida Workforce training were false,
Ms.Almagroinsisted,andshedemandedthattheMiamiMirrorarticleberemoveduntilsuch
timeasshehadtimetoaddressthefalsestatements.TheMiamiMirrorrefused,andsaidshe
shouldfirstdemandthattheHeraldeditorsremovetheoffensivearticlefromtheservers.She
saidthatSouthFloridaWorkforcehadinfactprotestedtotheMiamiHeraldbuttonoavail.
WearestandingbyforMs.Almagrosrebuttal,andwedosowithsuspendedjudgmentsince
we know from our experience, with the false and perhaps actually malicious statements that
the Herald published, defaming a state official and his department, while covering the Allen
Stanford fraud, that the fact that it stands on a story does not mean it is correct, especially
whenitwinsawardsforoneriddledwithfalsehoods.
Mr. Olorrunipas scandalous piece referred to the lousy statistical performance record of
South Florida Workforce the regional workforce investment board and its training
partners, whose representatives may sit on the board, thus creating a potential conflict of
interest.Weletthearticlespeakforitself:
FourofthetrainingorganizationswithlargeWorkforcecontractshaverepresentativesonits
44memberpolicymakingboard,posingapotentialconflictofinterest.
With four SFW board members representing training providers that receive Workforce
funding,conflictofinterestquestionshavecomeuprepeatedlyatrecentboardmeetings.
Carlos Manrique, who represents MiamiDade County Public Schools on the South Florida
WorkforceInvestmentBoard,contendsmoneythatshouldhavegonetoupgradeunemployed
workers'skillshasbeenwastedduetoalackofaccountabilityamongtheprivatefirmshiredto
trainworkers.
Such potential conflicts of interests are one reason the board has been slow to act on
problems, said Manrique, whose employer, The MiamiDade school system, is itself an SFW
trainingproviderthatreceivesabout$500,000annuallyintrainingfunds.DonnaJennings,dean
of workforce education and development at Miami Dade College; Maria Cristina Regueiro,
founderoftheprivatetradeschoolFloridaNationalCollege;andPerez,ownerofTheAcademy
ofSouthFlorida,alsoholdpositionsontheboard.Theirorganizationsaccepted$1.7millionin
SFWtrainingmoneylastyearalone.
According to data Manrique shared with The Miami Herald, at least 20 schools have not
refundedanymoneydespitereportinglowgraduationratesforSFWstudents.
[South Florida Workforce Executive Director] Beasley recently sent out letters to 30 training
providerstellingthemtosubmitcompletedatatoSFWorbedroppedfromtheprogram.Itwas
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Miami Mirror True Reflections

thefirstsignificantmovetowardtrainingprovidersanctionsduringBeasley'stenure.Nearlyall
the schools have responded, he said, and his staff is in the process of verifying the data. But
millionsofdollarsmayhavealreadybeenlostduringyearsoflooseregulation,saidManrique,
who has been on the board for 12 years. `Nobody's paid attention to it,' Manrique said.
[Beasley]hasjustletitslideandneverpaidanyattentiontoit.'
Chapter 445 of the Florida Statutes, the Florida Workforce Innovation Act of 2000
implementing the federal Workforce Innovation Act of 1998, addresses such conflicts of
interest:
If the regional workforce board enters into a contract with an organization or individual
representedontheboardofdirectors,thecontractmustbeapprovedbyatwothirdsvoteof
the entire board, and the board member who could benefit financially from the transaction
mustabstainfromvotingonthecontract.Aboardmembermustdiscloseanysuchconflictina
mannerthatisconsistentwiththeproceduresoutlinedins.112.3143[Fla.Stat.]
Sincewehavenorecordofsuchabstentions,weshallbymeansofthisarticleaskMr.Almagro
todisclosewhetherornottherewereanyabstentions,andweshallalsoaskherbythismeans
if the ordinance hereunder applies, and if it does, whether or not board members were
removedasspecified,orifsomeethicalcasuistrywasemployedtoskirttheissue.
MiamiDade County Commission Resolution Number R31506, the local ordinance governing
theSouthFloridaWorkforceboard,i.e.regionalworkforceinvestmentboardNo.23,appearsto
call for the removal of any local board member with an apparent conflict of interest: The
Resolutionstates:
Representatives of business appointed to the South Florida Workforce Investment Board by
the Chief Elected Official of MiamiDade County or by the Chief Elected Official of Monroe
County shall automatically forfeit membership on the South Florida Workforce Investment
Board if the business so represented provides public workforce services with funds provided
throughorfromWorkforceFlorida,Inc.duringtherepresentativesperiodofmembershipon
theSouthFloridaWorkforceInvestmentBoard.
TheResolutionwastheproductofextensivenegativereportsontheperformanceoftheSouth
Florida Workforce system that comprises the South Florida Employment and Training
ConsortiumBoardandtheSouthFloridaWorkforceInvestmentBoard.
The South Florida Employment and Training Consortium Board is a board created by an
Interlocal Agreement between MiamiDade County and Monroe County for the purpose of
actingonbehalfoftheelectedofficialswhoserepresentativessitontheConsortiumBoard.It
receives grant money, assumes financial liability according to state and federal law, and is
responsibleforappointingthemembersoftheSouthFloridaWorkforceInvestmentBoard.
The South Florida Workforce Investment Board dba South Florida Workforce is a local or
regional government board. Section 445.007 Fla. Stat. provides that one regional workforce
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boardshallbeappointedineachdesignatedservicedeliveryareaandshallserveasthelocal
workforceinvestmentboardpursuanttothefederalWorkforceInvestmentActof1998.Local
board duties include planning and oversight, budgeting, collecting data, promoting private
sector involvement in the statewide investment system, and negotiating agreement on
performance measures. The South Florida Workforce Investment Board may not directly
provideservicestothepublic,butitselectsOneStopoperatorsthatdoaswellasyouthservice
providers.
It is said that South Florida would not be South Florida absent prevalent conflicts of interest,
butofcourseitisnotaloneinthatrespect.TheSouthFloridaWorkforceInvestmentBoardwas
one of only two Florida regional boards not in compliance with the law according to the
standardssetbyWorkforceFloridaInc.hencethelocalboardwasnotrecharteredin2006.In
fact, at that time it had not been chartered since 2002. And a mandated Workforce Services
Planhadnotbeenapprovedsincethe1998Act.
Workforce Florida Inc. is the nonprofit corporation that monitors and oversees the
administrationofthestateWorkforcepolicy,andallofitsactivitiesincludingdesignatinglocal
areas,reviewinglocalplans,andtheprogramsandservicesimplementedbythelocalboards.It
isnotagovernmententity,andisnotinanymannersubjecttothecontrolofthestateagency
named the Agency for Workforce Innovation. It is obliged by law to design and implement
strategiesthathelpFloridiansenter,remainin,andadvanceintheworkplace,toserveasthe
statewideWorkforceInvestmentBoardpursuanttothefederalWorkforceInvestmentAct,and
to providing oversight and policy direction to ensure that relevant Workforce programs are
properly administered by the Agency for Workforce Innovation in compliance with approved
plansandundercontractwithWorkforceFlorida,Inc.
TheFloridaAgencyforWorkforceInnovation,inturn,isthestatesleadingworkforceagency.It
describesitselfasapartnerofWorkforceFlorida,Inc.ItsdutiesaresetforthinSection20.50
of the Florida Statutes, and include ensuring that the state appropriately administers federal
and state workforce funding by administering plans and policies of Workforce Florida, Inc.,
undercontractwithWorkforceFlorida,Inc.TheAgencyreceivesfederalgrantsandfundsand
administers them as directed by the Governor. It expends the funds according to law and as
directedbyWorkforceFlorida,Inc.ThestatutedeclaresthatAllprogramandfiscalinstructions
toregionalworkforceboardsshallemanatefromtheagencypursuanttoplansandpoliciesof
Workforce Florida, Inc. Workforce Florida, Inc. shall be responsible for all policy directions to
theregionalboards.Ithasmanyotherdutiesbesides.
ItwasevidenttoeveryoneconcernedbythedismalperformanceoftheSouthFloridasystem
thatithadtoberestructured.Themanagementoftheexistingstructurewascriticizedforits
lack of coordination and effectiveness. The division of labor was confused and serious
communication problems existed. Incompetency was evident throughout the organization.
ThehiringandfiringofSouthFloridaWorkforceInvestmentBoardstaffwasinfluencedbythe
SouthFloridaEmploymentandTrainingConsortiumBoard.Thestaffservedtwomastersand
wasnotprovidingaccurateinformationtotheSouthFloridaWorkforceInvestmentBoardifit
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reflected negatively on the Consortium. Conflicts of interest were apparent. Members of the
Consortium were service providers, and service providers were sitting on the South Florida
WorkforceInvestmentBoard.
ItappearsthatWorkforceFloridaInc.smainconcernwaswiththeconflictofinterestbetween
theSouthFloridaEmploymentandTrainingConsortiumBoardandtheSouthFloridaWorkforce
Investment Board, that government service providers were members of the South Florida
WorkforceInvestmentBoard,andnotsomuchwiththefactthatprivateserviceproviderswere
sitting on the South Florida Workforce Investment Board. A 28 December 2005 letter to
ExecutiveDirectorRickBeasleystates:
The MiamiDade/Monroe region is governed differently than any other local board. The
existence of the consortium predates the Workforce Investment Act. The existence of the
consortium,perse,isnotdirectlythestatesbusiness.However,whengovernmentsthatare
partnersintheconsortiumbothappointmemberstotheboardandapplytodobusinesswith
theboard(asserviceproviders)aconflict(perceivedorreal)occurswhichisnotacceptableto
Workforce Florida and is in direct conflict with the principle enunciated by the Florida
legislature in Section 445.007(5), Florida Statutes. The Legislature indicated that regional
boardsarenottobedirectserviceprovidersinordertoexerciseindependentoversight.
Section 445.007(5) Fl. Stat. reads: In order to exercise independent oversight, the regional
workforceboardshallnotbeadirectproviderofintake,assessment,eligibilitydeterminations,
orotherdirectproviderservices.
The President of Workforce Florida Inc. met with at the office of MiamiDade County Mayor
Carlos Alvarez on June 25, 2005, with the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation
collaborating,andaconclusionwasreachedthatabrandnewstructuremustbecreatedsoWFI
can charter Region 23 for FY 20052007. Otherwise, Workforce Florida Inc. would have to
implementanalternativemeasure.
It was concluded that the Executive Director must be selected by and be responsible to the
South Florida Workforce Investment Board, and not to the South Florida Employment and
Training Consortium Board; conflicts should be eliminated so that the counties, for example,
arenotbothexercisingoversightauthorityanddirectlyprovidingworkforceservicesfundedby
Workforce Florida Inc; and appointments to South Florida Workforce Investment Board must
complywithstatutoryrepresentationcategories.
The Resolution proposed and eventually passed provided in part that a new Interlocal
Agreement would create a South Florida Workforce Investment Board governed by all
legislation applicable to MiamiDade County boards, which would presumably eliminate the
ethical breaches and conflict of interest issues. The executive director of the South Florida
Workforce Investment Board would be selected by the South Florida Workforce Investment
Board and would be an employee of MiamiDade County, but s/he could be removed at the
discretionoftheSouthFloridaWorkforceInvestmentBoard.TheExecutiveDirectorsandthe
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staffsstatusasemployeesofMiamiDadeCountywouldremovesovereignimmunityliabilities
forstaffi.e.theycouldnotbeheldpersonallyliablefortortclaims.
South Florida voter have a predilection for strong central authority figures despite the
experienceofitsmostpowerfulfactionwiththeCubanregime.ExecutiveDirectorRickBeasley,
likeMayorCarlosAlvarez,whomanagedtoinstituteacontroversialstrongmayorsystemafter
taking office, has virtually dictatorial powers over his domain, according to the Resolution.
Board members i.e. directors, for example, must keep their hands off employees: all matters
involvingemployeesmayonlybedealtwiththroughhim.
Among other clauses, the counties agreed not to provide direct public Workforce services
funded by Workforce Florida, Inc. And, again, Representatives of business appointed to the
SouthFloridaWorkforceInvestmentBoardbytheChiefElectedOfficialofMiamiDadeCounty
orbytheChiefElectedOfficialofMonroeCountyshallautomaticallyforfeitmembershiponthe
South Florida Workforce Investment Board if the business so represented provides public
workforce services with funds provided through or from Workforce Florida, Inc. during the
representativesperiodofmembershipontheSouthFloridaWorkforceInvestmentBoard.
Speakingofrealorapparentconflictsofinterest,thelasttimewelooked,theboardofdirectors
of Workforce Florida Inc. included representatives of private schools such as its chairperson,
Belinda Keiser, who is Vice Chancellor at Keiser University. Adriane Grant, the director of
external affairs at Florida Workforce Inc., did not respond to our requests for Ms. Keisers
contactinformation,thereforeattemptsweremadetoreachheratKeiserUniversity,butshe
didnotrespond.
U.S. Senate committee hearings on deceptive and fraudulent practices of educational
institutionswererecentlyheldwhereinstudentsincludingFloridastudentscomplainedamong
otherthingsthatforprofitschoolshadbeenlyingtothem.Thatdidnotsitwellwithforprofit
schoolsincludingKeiserUniversity.Accordingtoa12October2010MiamiHeraldreportfiled
by Michael Vasquez, Keiser University actually sued a community college for its destructive
mediacampaign.
Everyoneconcernedwithlegitimateeducationagreedthatdiplomamillsshouldbeputoutof
business, but it appeared that the liberal Congress had embarked on an antibusiness witch
hunt.Theforprofitsinturnpointedfingersatallegedmisconductbycommunitycollegesthat
aretaxexemptandsubsidizedbygovernments.
The 4 August 2010 General Accounting Office report (GAO10948T) to the Senate is entitled
ForProfit Colleges: Undercover Testing Finds Colleges Encouraged Fraud and Engaged in
DeceptiveandQuestionableMarketingPractices.Wedonotknowwhetherornotundercover
agentsinvestigatedMiamiDadeCollegefortheGeneralAccountingOffice.Wedoubtit,asthe
college is virtually sacrosanct and has powerful political connections. The GAO has not
responded to our request to provide information on whether an investigation Miami Dade
Collegewasmade,and,ifso,theresults.
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TheMiamiMirrorsearchfortherootoftheconflictofinterestevilfounditnotinMiami,acity
notorious for corruption of all sorts, or in Florida, the sunny state that has housed many
prominent fraudsters including Charles Ponzi himself, but in a national power elite whose
corruption and plundering of America is sophistically advanced under an euphemism that
excusestheoutsourcingandneglectofcriticalpublicwelfareresponsibilitiessuchaseducation
andemploymentandgovernmentitselftobusinessinterestswhosemaininterestisthebottom
line, and whose owners and executives do not conduct themselves in a republican or
democraticfashion.
As for the euphemism, we speak of the deceptive and fraudulent phrase, publicprivate
partnership.Whatwehaveisnotarealpartnership,butanagreementthatwemustadhere
toorelse,fashionedbylawyersboundtoprovethattheLawiswhatrichpeopledomostlyfor
themselves, with enough to the rest to avert troublesome unrest or revolution. In fine, the
nationhasregressedtothepreDepressionunderstandingthatthebusinessofgovernmentis
notgovernmentbutbusiness.
Given the way the governing law is written, providing the same bed for conjugal relations of
public and private interests, there are bound to be conflicts of interest everywhere. What
wouldAmericabewithoutthem?

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~8~

Miami Mirror True Reflections


SOUTH FLORIDA WORKFORCE

MIAMI-DADE WORKFORCE BOARD CONFLICT OF INTEREST


The Appearance of Impropriety Persists
December 29, 2010
By David Arthur Walters
MIAMI MIRROR
Miami Beach, Florida
An investigation by the Miami Mirror has uncovered evidence corroborating a May 11, 2010
Miami Herald report that Miami-Dade County Carlos Alvarez South Florida Workforce
Investment Board is not providing adequate and competent administrative oversight over
workforce training funds granted to its so-called partners, some of whose representatives sit on
the South Florida Workforce Investment Board. Olivia Almagro, spokesperson for South Florida
Workforce, has objected to Miami Mirrors references to the Miami Herald report, ordering us to
delete our references to the report because it is false; however, she has declined to provide any
information whatsoever of the falsity so our references stand with the Miami Herald stance, and
she has not responded one way or the other to our independent findings.
Our investigation proceeded with an allegation by a student at Miami-Dade College that South
Florida Workforce had sold her on the idea of taking a free i.e. grant-funded course in Interior
Design at Miami-Dade College in order to obtain the degree necessary for licensure by the
Florida Board of Architecture and Interior Design. There was some initial wrangling over the
credits she wanted transferred from superior art and design schools up north; however, that issue
was settled, and she pursued her studies, becoming an honor student. Caseworkers and
counselors with South Florida Workforce and its partner Miami Dade College were involved at
all times in this process, which was supposed to end when she finally accelerated her studies to
obtain the degree as agreed.
The student stated that many of the courses she had to take had nothing to do with interior
design, an art in which she already had many years of experience and formal education, but she
went along with the program in order to get her degree. But in the end, instead of giving her the
degree, Miami-Dade College told her that she would have to start from the beginning because its
transfer credit policy had been retroactively changed. She said that other students complained of
the same behavior to her. It appeared that the college was simply manipulating its policy to
obtain more revenue i.e. maximize its grant income.
On August 25, 2010, she addressed South Florida Workforce and Miami-Dade College, and
asked that she be granted the degree as promised or that the granted money be returned to the
grantor. No response was forthcoming from South Florida Workforce Executive Director Rick
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Beasley and staff, who are defined as employees of Miami Dade County, except evasiveness
and stonewalling. When the matter was taken upstairs, to the state level, it was simply referred
back down to Rick Beasley in a manner indicating that the South Florida workforce region
governed by Miami-Dade County is given too much autonomy.
Our subsequent investigation discovered that the Florida Board of Architecture and Interior
Design had not even approved of the Miami-Dade College Interior Design Curriculum because
the college had never bothered to apply for approval. Furthermore, it appeared that Florida law
provided for immediate licensure of this person because she already had three years of
experience and three years of education outside the state. However that may be, both her time
and the grantors funds were wasted Rick Beasley would not reveal the names of the
grantor(s), citing privacy concerns, and spokesperson Olivia Almagro declined to identify the
grantor(s) of the funds unless $50 is paid for the information.
The performance of South Florida Workforce in respect to its training and education partners
have been the subject of longstanding criticism, which came to head in a report produced by
seasoned Miami Herald reporter Toluse Olorunnipa and posted on the Internet by the Miami
Herald on May 11, 2010 under the heading, Has South Florida Workforce training done the
job? Money was not being refunded by certain providers who had not met performance
standards. And conflicts of interested were rife: The Miami-Dade school system is itself an
SFW training provider that receives about $500,000 annually in training funds. Donna Jennings,
dean of workforce education and development at Miami Dade College; Maria Cristina Regueiro,
founder of the private trade school Florida National College; and Perez, owner of The Academy
of South Florida, also hold positions on the board. Their organizations accepted $1.7 million in
SFW training money last year alone. Board member Carlos Manrique of Miami-Dade County
Schools reportedly told the Miami Herald that Rick Beasley had let devastating data slide, doing
nothing about it although it indicated millions of dollars may have been lost.
The use of the term slide is particularly interesting in the light of information received from
Miami-Dade Transit employees about an informal policy called Just Let It Slide invoked to
keep the transportation system going. It does appear to competent but unemployed individuals in
the area that government is filled with persons who should be replaced by them.
The Miami Mirror emailed Miami-Dade College executive Donna Jennings on December 14,
stating that the fact that she sits on the SFWIB while her college is receiving Workforce funding
creates an appearance of impropriety which, if our reading is correct, Miami-Dade County
Commission Resolution R-315-06 would prevent by automatic removal of any local (regional
workforce) board member with an apparent conflict of interest. We also noted that one Olivia
Almagro, who has been representing South Florida Workforce in regards to our investigation of
the students allegations, is also an adjunct professor at Miami-Dade College. Dr. Jennings was
asked whether or not the issue had been taken up on her Workforce board, and asked her for
comments on the conflict of interest issue. She has not responded.
Again, the conflict of interest issue is not new. Floridas statewide overarching public-private
workforce oversight entity, Workforce Florida, Inc., had at one time refused to charter the South
Florida workforce board, which was then operating as South Florida Workforce, Inc., a Sec.
501(c) (3) non-profit corporation, unless it was restructured to eliminate conflicts of interest
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between it and the providers of public services, including counties, municipalities, and
businesses profit and non-profit. The ideally independent corporation was discarded in favor of
the creation of just another government board, South Florida Workforce Investment Board, doing
business under the fictitious name South Florida Workforce. Thus the potential for conflicts was
augmented when the independent corporation was trashed; however, South Florida Workforce,
Inc. approved of the restructuring.
Neither South Florida Workforce, Inc, nor South Florida Workforce Investment Board, nor
Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, nor Miami-Dade Countys mayor have thus far been
able to explain why the non-profit corporation was trashed many local workforce boards
throughout Florida and the nation are non-profit corporations. We note that the corporation was
administrative dissolved by the Florida Division of Corporations for failure to file its annual
report. Apparently the formality of filing for dissolution as provided by law was not followed by
the corporate directors. Mr. Beasley sent a letter to the Division saying that the corporation was
just a government board not subject to filing requirements. We have been unable to ascertain
whether or not the affairs of the corporation were wound up in an orderly fashion and what
happened to any funds and property in its possession at the time of dissolution.
Today, after the restructuring, the South Florida Workforce Investment Board is the local Florida
workforce board for region 23, created pursuant to the federal Workforce Investment Act of
1998 as implemented by Floridas Workforce Innovation Act, and locally by an Interlocal
Agreement between Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties as adopted by Miami Dade County
Commission Resolution R-315-06. Its members are appointed by the chief elected official of
Miami Dade County; currently, Carlos Alvarez. That Resolution states, in part:
Representatives of businesses appointed to the SFWIB [South Florida Workforce Investment
Board] by the Chief Elected Official of Miami-Dade County or Monroe County shall not include
representatives of business which are providers of public workforce services with funds provided
through or from Workforce Florida, Inc. Representatives of business appointed to the WFWIB
by the Chief Elected Official of Miami-Dade County or by the Chief Elected Official of Monroe
County shall automatically forfeit membership on the South Florida Workforce Investment
Board if the business so represented provides public workforce services with funds provided
through or from Workforce Florida, Inc. during the representatives period of membership on the
South Florida Workforce Investment Board.
Mayor Alvarez was queried by The Miami Mirror on December 8, 2010, referring him to the
November 25, 2010 Miami Mirror editorial The Conflict of Interest Inherent in South Florida
Workforce, and informing him that a source had identified him as the strong man behind South
Florida Workforce. He was asked what he had done to remove members with conflicts of
interest as per R-315-06, and why the non-profit corporation had been discarded.
Mayor Alvarez responded, irrelevantly, on December 16, with: Dear Mr. Walters: Thank you
for your e-mail. Ive attached the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners Resolution R315-06, which details the restructuring of the South Florida Workforce Investment Board
(SFWIB). We take allegations of impropriety very seriously. If you have information that
warrants an investigation into SFWIB, I encourage you to contact the Miami-Dade Police
Department Public Corruption Unit. Sincerely, Carlos Alvarez, Mayor, Miami-Dade County.
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http://www.miamidade.gov/govaction/legistarfiles/Matters/Y2006/060360.pdf
State law does provide for a procedure for dealing with conflicts of interest on workforce boards
where there are representatives of institutions receiving workforce funds sitting on the boards,
but it would appear that the local rule might prevail since it is more stringent than state law,
especially given the workforce acts emphasis on local autonomy. The state statute implementing
the federal workforce act provides that, If the regional workforce board enters into a contract
with an organization or individual represented on the board of directors, the contract must be
approved by a two-thirds vote of the entire board, and the board member who could benefit
financially from the transaction must abstain from voting on the contract. A board member must
disclose any such conflict in a manner that is consistent with the procedures outlined in s.
112.3143. See Section 445.007 Regional workforce boards
We are unable to ascertain whether or not any rule dealing with conflicts of interest has been
followed. Indeed, getting a straight and relevant answer out of Florida officials and bureaucrats
who are supposed to be accountable and from those who are supposed to hold them accountable
is exceedingly difficult if not impossible regardless of the issue involved. Of course positive
public relations statements are made. Any negative statement about their behavior is simply
denied as inaccurate or false, and nothing is done to clear up the alleged inaccuracy and
falsehood by providing accurate and truthful statements. Perhaps no answers are given by the
authorities because they do not have the time to answer, or are ignorant and incompetent to
answer, or they simply do not have to answer short of judicial process. This much is obvious:
they have held their jobs for far too long, and are in dire need of replacement and retraining.

~4~

Miami Mirror True Reflections

SOUTH FLORIDA WORKFORCE

The Florida Workforce System Needs a Better Interior Design


November 18, 2010
By David Arthur Walters
MIAMI MIRROR
Miami Beach, Florida
The Miami Mirror is currently investigating the case of a South Florida resident, whom we shall
call Elizabeth. She was laid off from her job two years ago. She applied for and received
unemployment benefits, and diligently sought work with no success. She said the terrible
economic environment was worsened for her because she was subjected to discrimination against
women over the age of fifty in her areas of expertise, and most level jobs overqualified people
may take out of desperation require fluency in Spanish. She said South Florida Workforce was
unable to help her find a job, and its personnel marveled that they could not place someone with
her qualifications.
In fact, Elizabeth does not want to be identified because she was a high profile person during a
marriage where she was savagely beaten by a highly placed man who may now spend the rest of
his life in prison for his frauds. She was defrauded too, of her personal fortune, and wound up
working for a nonprofit organization that shelters abused wives and children, many of them
victims of high profile husbands and fathers. She is apprehensive that officials might leak her
identity if their organizations might somehow be embarrassed by a troublesome investigation, in
order to deflect blame by re-victimizing the victim, something she said she had seen happen
time and time again, and she said she has no intention of becoming a professional victim.
Elizabeth often visited her local Workforce One-Stop Center, where she was sold on the idea of
getting Miami Dade College credentials in her main field of interest, interior design, in which
she has many years of experience and considerable education in fine schools, but she did not
have a license to practice on her own in the State of Florida because Florida requires educational
certification to get the license.
Florida is one of only three states that require licensure in order for persons to hold themselves
out to the public as interior designers. The Florida Board of Architecture and Interior Design is
the licensing authority that approves of the education and experience of architects and interior
designers prior to issuance of licenses. Public policy obviously requires the qualification of
architects so that buildings will be less likely to fall down. Apparently, interior designers must be
qualified so people will be less likely to trip over furnishings and/or be appalled by unseemly
appearances in the interiors of those buildings.
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Miami Mirror True Reflections

Elizabeth said she was delighted when South Florida Workforce told her that funding was
available for an interior design program at Miami Dade College. She signed up for the program.
There was initially some confusion over whether or not the college would accept her credits from
other schools, but she was finally told that the transfer credits would be accepted. She was
required to take a number of courses she believed were irrelevant to interior design, but she
cooperated to get the degree she wanted. She said she enjoyed studying at Miami Dade College,
although she was learning nothing new about interior design her experience in the field
extended over twenty-one years. Particularly useless, she said, was a course in abstruse
philosophy delivered by a teacher apparently confused by philosophy. Yet she completed all
courses finally agreed upon in consultation with her Workforce caseworker and college
counselor, and with high marks; she was supposed to get the degree she had strived for.
The timing seemed perfect. Just by coincidence, an old friend familiar with her interior design
reputation had gotten Elizabeth a key position in the field, which she delayed filling for two
weeks until she passed what she was thought was to be her final exam. She was preparing to
celebrate her graduation when a bolt descended from the blue: she was told that certain transfer
credits from other schools, which she had been told would be accepted by Miami Dade College,
were no longer acceptable due to a recent change in policy, therefore she would virtually have to
start over and retake a slew of courses she very well could have taught.
For strategic reasons, Elizabeth normally presents a stoic appearance when confronted with
misfortune. Yet she confessed that she was internally devastated at first, and then very angry.
She noted that other students were complaining about the change in transfer credit policy.
Now Elizabeth loves her new job in the field she loves the most, but it is demanding due to
accelerating demand at the luxury end of the economy. She is currently working seven days a
week, up to twelve hours a day, designing interiors for high end clients, and at this writing she is
out of the country completing a design job for one of them. She has no time to retake courses
simply to satisfy the colleges budget requirements. It was apparent to her and to other students
with similar experience that Miami Dade College was stringing students along to maximize its
revenue; in her case, the total grant availability. The Colleges financial problems had been well
publicized; it was cutting programs, asking for tuition increases, and so on but was still able to
invest millions in real estate. South Florida Workforce Director Rick Beasley chipped in,
delivering a million dollar check to the college to help with its nursing program.
On 25 August 2010, after getting a runaround from South Florida Workforce personnel trying
falsely to claim her as a big success story instead of taking her disappointing experience to heart,
Elizabeth petitioned South Florida Workforce and Miami Dade College to produce the degree
she was entitled to, or to refund the money to the funding source. No response to her request was
forthcoming from anyone after two months of anxious waiting. Naturally, she was more than
chagrined by the fact that not a single person had contacted her since she presented her written
request on 25 August 2010.
The Miami Mirror followed up, locally, to no avail. Therefore statewide authorities were
contacted, to no avail. For instance, Adrianne Grant, the external affairs director for Workforce
Florida Inc., which has policy and oversight functions over Workforce system, referred the
matter to the state agency and back to the local level, saying it was preferable that all issues be
~2~

Miami Mirror True Reflections

dealt with locally. Finally Olivia Almagro, local Public Information Officer for South Florida
Workforce called about the matter. She insisted that South Florida Workforce has nothing to do
with and cannot interfere with Miami Dade Colleges transfer-credit policies, because that is
strictly a matter between the college and the student.
Ms. Almagro remarked that what had happened to Elizabeth was normal procedure at colleges.
She said the college had been contacted, but she would say nothing further about the matter,
citing privacy concerns. She repeated her statement that South Florida Workforce has nothing to
do with the colleges transfer crediting policies, and that the student must take the matter up with
the college. Therefore, Ms Almagro said she could not understand what was wanted of South
Florida Workforce. Nonetheless, she asked that a list of questions be submitted to her on the
matter, and repeatedly demanded that this reporter travel out to the South Florida Workforce
office near the airport to get her oral answers in person. She also demanded that Miami Mirror
take down an article critical of her boards success statistics.
Ms. Almagro was informed that the Miami Mirror had no further questions for her personally,
and that her statement as South Florida Workforces position on the predicament of the student
would be quoted as her answer to the students predicament. Obviously, South Florida
Workforce did not want anything to do with the matter, and its public relations facility was
limited to the denial of any responsibility whatsoever for its partner and service providers
treatment of the student. Her official statement does seem to be contradicted in several respects;
for example: Chapter 445.003 of the Florida Statutes, implementing the federal Workforce
Investment Act of 1998, provides as follows: (1) Workforce Investment Act Principles. The
states approach to implementing the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Pub. L. No.
105-220, should have six elements (d) Increased Accountability. The training providers
will be held accountable for their performance. (e) Local Board and Private Sector Leadership.
Local boards will focus on oversight of the local system. Miami Dade College is
identified as South Florida Workforces partner in that system.
Subsequent to speaking with Ms. Almagro, I received a call from Robby Cunningham, Director
of Communications for Floridas Agency for Workforce Innovation. Mr. Cunningham said he
wanted to provide a background for discussing the predicament Elizabeth and other students
found themselves in; that is, the nature and responsibilities of the Workforce entities involved:
Workforce Florida, Inc., the Agency for Workforce Innovation, and South Florida Workforce.
However, when asked about what sort of legal entity South Florida Workforce is, he was not
certain; we speculated that it was a nonprofit corporation. My subsequent investigation
discovered that South Florida Workforce Inc. had in fact been dissolved shortly after Mr.
Beasley was hired in 2005, ostensibly for failure to file its annual reports. Mr. Cunningham
looked into the matter and came up with a 2006 fictitious name application along with letter
written by Mr. Beasley to the Division of Corporations stating that South Florida Workforce is
a fictitious name and that the local i.e. regional board is exempt from corporate registration
because it is a government board. However, many local boards in Florida and the nation
registered as and remain in good standing as nonprofit corporations. Mr. Cunningham promised
to look into the legal ramifications.

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Mr. Cunningham also promised to look into and answer a few other questions, one important one
being, to whom can suggestions for improvement be directed? Indeed, those of us who have had
some executive experience would have had the issue investigated immediately and would have
already done something to resolve it and eliminate its cause. If the problem is what it appears to
be, the way to prevent recurrences of related difficulties is obvious. One does not even have to be
an experience manager or executive to understand what must be done; all that is required is
common sense.
The customer committed to complete courses so she could get the certification in interior design
needed to obtain a professional license. But the agreement was one-sided, the colleges side
being open-ended, for the college with the cooperation of its public partner and virtual sales
agent, the government board that calls itself South Florida Workforce, could at its own discretion
change its mind about what courses must be taken to complete the program and what transfer
credits would be accepted.
Potential students and their parents would normally laugh out loud at that kind proposition if
they were to be personally liable for the tuition. But here we have so-called public-private
partnerships shoveling out free government money for education, and desperately unemployed
people eager to cooperate with the most ridiculous or misunderstood grant terms after hearing the
sales pitch about their bright re-educated future.
Time and time again we hear Workforce students say they took many courses they did not need
simply because they were told by the Workforce salesperson that the unwanted courses happened
to be on the grant matrix at the time, and they thought that was the way to get into the free
system and eventually get what they wanted. That sort of arrangement raises the potential for
unjust enrichment and outright fraud
Another student, whom we call Betty, in another region of Florida, informed me that she wanted
to become a horticulturalist, but her Workforce caseworker told her that the men on the local
board did not approve of agricultural curricula for women; if she signed up for a course in golf
course maintenance, that would be immediately funded and she would get into the system to get
a degree. Betty said she later found out that she did not need Workforce to get her the grant, that
she could have taken the courses she wanted, and Workforce had wasted a great deal of her time;
however, her books were paid for, she got some gas money, and found out that golf course
maintenance is highly paid. Still, Bettys alleged treatment was contrary to the provisions of the
enabling act; to wit: Empowering Individuals. -- Eligible participants will make informed
decisions, choosing the qualified training program that best meets their needs. We are mindful
here of the German National Socialist Party agenda that pulled women out of office jobs to put
them into occupations purportedly more suited to females, such as nursing. We might think that
horticulture would be acceptable since women invented it while men were away hunting or
warring on one another.
What is needed is a definite contract with definite terms for the program as a whole, better
training of the Workforce sales force as well as the student counselors at the colleges, and better
record keeping everywhere, so when customers are unjustly manipulated to maximize federal
and state grant money, the whole matter does not boil down to he said she said.
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Miami Mirror True Reflections

Wherefore Mr. Cunninghams answer to our question - To whom can suggestions be directed?
is greatly anticipated. We have contacted the chief executive officer of Florida, Governor Charlie
Crist, but his office simply refers the matter back down the system, to public relations officers
who do not make the decisions and whose job is, other than providing information, is to greet
problematic inquiries as hostile and to raise a rhetorical defense; in other words, to shine people
on, and not to confess wrongs unless confronted with irrefutable evidence, which they try to cast
in the least harmful way.
Even if there were no provable fraud on the government, if this is simply the usual government
negligence and mismanagement taxpayers complain about, perhaps the Republicans whom
socialist liberals love to hate, and the much-maligned Governor-elect Rick Scott and his team, as
well as fiscal conservatives of all casts, may step in to see if the money shovels can be put to
better use.
Now we have just uncovered a fact that would seem to indicate that there was fraud in
Elizabeths case, or at least fraud was suggested when for-profit colleges were taken to task
recently in testimony before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, U.S.
Senate. On 4 August 2010, the United States Government Accountability Office disclosed that
undercover testing found that colleges encouraged fraud and engaged in deceptive and
questionable marketing practices. One complaint was that students were being sold programs
that did not qualify them for the jobs they expected to get as promised. Nonprofit and community
colleges were left unscathed, to the chagrin of the for-profits. The diploma mills and other
miscreant institutions certainly need to be eliminated or reformed, yet the attack on for-profit
colleges appeared to be politically motivated.
We have not yet been able to obtain information about whether or not federal undercover
investigators were sent into Miami Dade College. Miami Dade College is virtually sacrosanct in
South Florida. It was developed by its politically connected current president, Dr. Eduardo J.
Padron, a hero to Cubans who immigrated to Florida when Fidel Castro opened up the prisons
and mental institutions, and were given preference by the United States. Dr. Padron has not
responded to Elizabeths 25 August 2010 plea for her degree or a refund to the grant maker she
naturally hoped the powerful man would be her hero too.
The smoking gun uncovered in the case of Elizabeth is that, although the Florida Board of
Architecture and Interior Design has certain education requirements as a prerequisite for
licensure, it has not approved of Miami Dade Colleges interior design curricula because the
college has not even applied for the approval. So it would appear that Elizabeth and the grant
funder was defrauded when she was told that the program sold to her was acceptable to the
Board of Architecture and Interior Design.
I believe that there is at least a potential for fraud in several respects given the sloppy manner in
which the funding seems to be shoveled out, perhaps with all good intent; therefore I have filed a
formal inquiry with the states Office of Inspector General within the Agency for Workforce
Innovation, asking for an acknowledgement of the inquiry; no such acknowledgement has been
forthcoming. South Florida Workforce Executive Director Rick Beasley has not been responsive
to my requests to examine Elizabeths file, which seems to have gone missing after I queried him
on the matter, so there are simply not enough facts available to allege fraud. And fraud was
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suspected when he stonewalled Elizabeth and this reporter. Perhaps there was no fraud, but
sloppy practices evidently open up the system for fraud
Fraud or not, all is not lost, at least not for Elizabeth, if she has enough experience in the field
and the number of hours of education that might move the Board to take a look at her
background and provide her with an opportunity to take the exam. After trying to communicate
with many people who did not actually read Elizabeths 25 August 2010 letter or who said they
read it but did not understand what the problem was although it was laid out in plain English, I
finally reached someone who is not only knowledgeable but is also helpful instead of defensive:
namely, Terri McEwen Estes at the Florida Board of Architecture and Interior Design.
Ms. Estes said that the objective of the Board is to help qualified interior designers get a license.
She noted that the Board regularly receives calls from students asking if Miami Dade College
interior design curricula suffice to meet the Boards education prerequisite. Since the college for
some reason has not asked for approval of its interior design curricula by the Board, the Board
will treat its curricula as it would those from other unapproved institutions including out-of-state
colleges. The governing statute provides that the Board may accept interior design curricula not
approved in advance providing that other statutory requirements are met. Hence there is no
advance guarantee that the Board will accept the Miami Dade College interior design degrees,
which is something the student might want to consider.
There is also a statutory provision that might be of avail to Elizabeth although she did not
graduate from Miami Dade College, providing she has a certain number of years of experience
and a certain number of hours of education, all subject to approval by the Board. Now that
sounds reasonable; otherwise, what is a perfectly competent interior designer who wants to
establish herself in Florida do? Should she pull out and establish herself in one of the 47 states
that does not require interior design licensure? No doubt Elizabeth, who has many years of
interior design experience and many hours of education in the finest schools, will be glad to hear
about that provision on her return to the United States.
Ms. Estes noted that misinformation often circulates among the student body. I suggested that
someone on the Board take a look at the Miami Mirror investigative file, and clear up that
confusion wherever it originates, say, staff at Workforce and the college.
I mentioned that I was in contact with several communications experts who were in the dark
about what was going on in respect to the Workforce-College programs, at least in respect to
interior design, and that perhaps they could get their heads together and make sure everyone
concerned, including the Workforce sales partners of the colleges, was properly educated as to
the facts so no innocent or negligent representations would be made to potential students. She
offered to forward my suggestion to the Boards media contact officer.

XYX

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Miami Mirror True Reflections

SOUTH FLORIDA WORKFORCE

Republication of 2005 Guerilla Journalist Notes

SOUTH BEACH ONE-STOP CENTER IGNORES DISPLACED CITIZENS


Or provides them with misinformation
Filed June 29, 2005
By David Arthur Walters
The Miami Mirror
Miami Beach, Florida
I observed Ben, who identified himself as Senior Job Placement Specialist at the South Beach
One-Stop center, interviewing a man whom I recognized from the street: he was a recovering
alcoholic. The man soon walked away with a disappointed expression. I approached Ben and
inquired about services available to displaced persons i.e. the homeless. I described a displaced
man who asked me for money on Alton Road the previous day; to wit:
The displaced man was handsome although grubby; a Caucasian; Thirty-Something - the ideal
American age. He was carrying a large clear plastic envelope containing his resume and
photographs of himself as a head cook or chef at a previous job. He was very proud of the photo.
He said he had lost his job and had run out of money while looking for another one. He had no
place to keep his clothes, and wound up with what he had on his back, ruined from sleeping in
alleys and under a pier. He did not have an address or a telephone number where employers
could contact him.
The poor man did not know where to apply for a food stamp card and small cash allowance, so I
gave him that information, saying he should not be too proud to accept assistance from the state
as that would be better than stealing or robbing; after all, he had just asked me for money I was
actually assuring myself, for I grew up where it was once considered better to rob a train or a
bank than ask for help from the guv'ment.
I told the man that he should also go to the One-Stop Center at 833 Sixth Street and inquire about
work, mentioning that I had seen an ad for a food service manager paying $ 20 per hour. I also
suggested that he ask for information as to where he could get some clothes, and about where he
could get an address and telephone number for purposes of seeking employment.
"Once a person is on the street like that, that's it, there is no chance of getting work," Ben said,
after I related my story.
"Surely," I said, "there must be sufficient support for job-seeking available to such persons,
otherwise they are doomed. In Kansas City, for example, there are places where displaced

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Miami Mirror True Reflections

persons can get clothes, showers, a locker to keep things in, access to a telephone and voicemail accessible from pay phones - and a mailing address."
"Miami isn't like that," Ben said. "People with that lifestyle won't get help."
"What if they don't want to live like that?" I asked. "Do you mean Miami, with all its riches, will
not help people who fall through the cracks? Surely there must be sufficient support for jobseeking available to such persons, otherwise they are doomed. I saw places in Kansas City where
displaced persons can get clothes, showers, a locker to keep things in, access to a telephone and
voicemail, accessible from pay phones, and a mailing address.
"There are shelters," he replied, "but a person only gets one chance, and if he messes up and
doesn't change his lifestyle, he won't be helped again."
Ben did not seem to know much about the local social issues or about the United States for that
matter; e.g. he did not know that Hawaii is a state. An informant in the office mentioned that
several employees in the Miami Beach One-Stop center are waiting for their papers, and that
one of the main missions of the staff is to help immigrants get established. The informant
described a pecking order in the office, with Cuban Americans at the top, and said that a nonprofit outfit called Unidad Miami Beach Hispanic Community Center manages the One-Stop.
This informant said that a local Cuban American politician, Matti Bower, was a powerful force
at Unidad.
Ben has a reputation for being "independent" and "honest." He is a nice fellow, very bright to
boot, and has a reputation for independence and honesty. He likes to hand out positive mental
attitude flyers around the office. He seems a bit brainwashed in favor of capital although he
professes sympathy with labor, provided it helps itself. I asked him if he was making $ 10 per
hour at the employment office, since the competition for that wage is stiff around the One-Stop.
No, he said, a little more than that.
A supervisor, who had become suspicious of me during the course of my guerilla interviews,
noticed that I was conversing with Ben. She rudely interrupted my interview, sending Ben off on
a mission. I later asked him for his card; he scratched the name off someone else's card, wrote
'Ben' above it, and handed it to me.
Ben is in training, and was evidently not yet trained very well on some subjects. I took up the
matter with Omar, Employer Consultant, and recounted what I had been told about the slim
chances of displaced persons getting a hand up so they can find work.
"Who told you that? That's nonsense," Omar said irritably. He reached into a folder, pulled out
four sheets of paper with information on services available and thrust them into my hand. The
pages had been duplicated so many times they were barely legible:
Assistance with food, shelter, utility bills, clothing, and health care might be obtained at various
places. However, I discovered that the information was outdated as many of the employment

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Miami Mirror True Reflections

office's job listings I heard many people at One-Stop centers complain about stale and bogus
listings.
The information sheet on home-energy assistance bore a handwritten note, "until 8-28-2003"; the
sheet on one-time emergency cash assistance bore a handwritten note, "No more funds, Marilyn,
4/14/02," and another note at the bottom, "Only for those do not Qualify for other programs"
(sic) without mentioning what those other programs might be.
Another page listed only three community shelters for men - one of them closed on weekends.
Two of the shelters listed are on 1st Avenue, where travelers are treated to the sight of over a
hundred indigent people stretched out on the sidewalks with their belongings on any given day.
The remaining page duplicated information on shelters and provided information on institutions
and agencies providing assistance for substance abuse, mental and physical health, and just plain
help. Much of the assistance was no longer available.
The information obviously needed to be updated and consolidated with all other information on
services available, published in an alphabetical directory indexed by services available, and
distributed to everyone concerned, especially to those in need. Certain portions of the
information should be printed in the form of small flyers or cards for handing out to indigent
people there and on the street.
I was informed by another insider that the highly paid South Florida Workforce administration
makes all sorts of excuses including budgetary excuses for not making corrections and
improving services to the poor.
The One-Stop centers outdated handouts did not include a reference to the Community
Partnership For Homeless, Inc. (CPHI) 1550 North Miami Avenue, Miami Florida 33136, Tel.
305.329.3000. I found out about CPHI while waiting for the Metro Mover at the Government
Center train station in downtown Miami. A well dressed African American woman carrying a
briefcase asked me for directions she said was going to a job interview. I chatted with her after
we got on the train - the usual small talk. Lea is her name.
"So how long will it take you to get home if you get the job downtown?" I asked.
"I'm homeless," said Lea pleasantly.
"What?"
"I'm homeless. I was laid off my public services job two months ago."
"Oh, I'm sorry."
"No need to be sorry. I'm O.K. I'll get another job."
"You don't look homeless. Where do you stay?"

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Miami Mirror True Reflections

"Close to the School Board station," she said.


You are not dressed like them, I nodded towards the unkempt men at the end of the car who
were cursing and drinking from a bottle of wine.
"There's no need to look down and out. We have showers and good clothes."
"What about a phone number for your resume? And the bus fare?"
"An employer can call my social worker, and I can get tokens to go on interviews," she said.
"Aren't you afraid? Isn't the shelter bad?"
"No, I'm not afraid. I'll be all right. The shelter is safe - there is plenty of security."
"I see people wandering around in the streets without any place to go to. They look awful. Some
say they want jobs."
"There's no excuse for that," Lea shook her head. "There's a place to go. There are services. You
can get calls, get mail, get clothes, and job leads too."
"Where?" I asked.
Lea opened her purse, pulled out a CHPI card and handed it to me.
"Keep it," she said, smiling. "And thank you. I enjoyed talking with you."

Editors Note:
The above article was prepared in 2005 from notes taken in 2005 and published on the Internet
with links sent to member of South Florida Workforce staff. The new South Florida Workforce
Investment Board executive director, Rick Beasley, was hired that year. Whether or not the
issues raised above and in other articles were adequately addressed by him and his staff is
presently under investigation. The executive director and staff members of South Florida
Workforce, a fictitious name for the government board called the South Florida Workforce
Investment Board, are actually employees of Miami-Dade County according to an Interlocal
Agreement between Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, adopted by Miami-Dade County
Commission Resolution dated March 7, 2006. Several staff members, some of them highly
placed, have anonymously expressed dismay with Mr. Beasleys policies; their allegations will
be inquired into. The local and state structure of the Workforce system implements the federal
Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which will soon be due for reenactment. Therefore the issues
are of national import, and readers are invited to comment on their positive and negative
experiences at One-Stop centers throughout Florida and the nation. (November 06, 2010)

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