How Not to Handle Sex, Drugs and Violence at Job Corps

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An operator of Job Corps centers failed to properly discipline problem students at three of its sites for incidents that included drug use, domestic violence and a dorm room orgy that might have been a sexual assault, according to a new federal audit that says the company's improper handling of the violators created an unsafe environment for staff and other students.

"Allowing problem students to remain on center potentially places other students and staff at risk," says the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Inspector General performance audit  of three Job Corps cites operated by Reno, Nevada-based Adams and Associates, Inc.

The audit also says Adams claimed students had completed various technical training tasks on days when records show the students were AWOL, raising questions about whether the Adams-operated centers are reaping undeserved performance while failing to fulfill the central Job Corps mission of preparing youths for employment.

"Incomplete tasks could impact a student's ability to obtain and maintain employment in the vocation in which the student was trained," the audit says, "and inaccurate performance reporting impacts management decision making, incentive payments, and option years awarded to the contracted center operators.

The audit says Adams may owe the DOL "liquidated damages" ranging from roughly $68,000 to nearly $118,000 for claiming that youths had completed career technical training without documented proof.

"We question the factual accuracy of a number of the statements within the report," company president Roy A. Adams states in a letter that is included in the report. "We operate with the highest of integrity and quality, resulting in the highest student success rates of any Job Corps contractor."

The DOL audited the Atterbury Job Corps Center in Edinburgh, Ind.; the Gadsden Job Corps Center in Gadsden, Ala.; and the Shriver Job Corps Center in Devens, Mass.

The audit says Adams "did not consistently ensure compliance with Job Corps requirements for safety when it came to student misconduct." For instance, it says a female student at Atterbury claimed she was sexually assaulted by four males in her dorm room, but the center never reported the incident to police or Job Corps because "the results of the center's internal investigation concluded the sexual activity was consensual."

"The female student left the center and quit the program immediately after the incident," the audit states. "Even if Atterbury's conclusion about the alleged assault was correct, Atterbury was still required to report it as a significant incident since it was, at a minimum, inappropriate sexual activity."

In other incidents, the audit states, a male youth who physically assaulted his ex-girlfriend, also a student at the center, was not subjected to the proper review or discipline because the center claimed there was not enough evidence to charge the youth with fighting, even though his  record showed he "grabbed his ex-girlfriend by the neck and then shoved her."

"Both students admitted to having a very physical relationship and were always smacking and hitting one another," the audit states.

The audit also uncovered problems with "incomplete Training Achievement Records (TARs)" and student leave records at all three sites.

For instance, at Atterbury, one TAR showed five tasks completed on days the student was reported as AWOL, but Adams dismissed the problem as one of "administrative oversights."

Those oversights could prove costly. Job Corps guidelines say that damages of $750 should be assessed for each "invalid vocational completion." Consequently, Adams may owe the federal labor department $16,500 for 22 students identified as having incomplete TARs at that site, the audit states. It could be much higher if the feds decide to project the statistical sample results to the rest of the student population at Atterbury.

Adams claimed in his written response that the incomplete training records was a "documentation problem" and noted that the documentation requirement has since become less onerous. The audit disagreed.

Drug Use

At the Shriver Job Corps Center, a student left the center for "unauthorized reasons and had the smell of marijuana on his hands when he returned." The student admitted to smoking marijuana, but the incident was wrongly classified as a lower level infraction and no drug test was given to confirm the use of drugs and establish a benchmark in case the student tests positive a second time within the following 45-day "suspicion intervention period."

Shriver Job Corps center officials also failed to notify Job Corps of four students who got kicked out of the center for sale, possession or distribution of drugs. "Adams corporate management told us these incidents were not reported because the police were not involved," the audit states. "However, the (Policy and Requirements Handbooks) requires reporting such incidents to Job Corps whether or not the police are involved."

The audit blames many of the problems with lack of proper intervention on the belief that center directors had more discretion than Job Corps guidelines allow, and calls for Adams and Job Corps to develop better procedures and oversight to ensure compliance. Adams wrote, "These opinions are subjective and not factual."


  • Andrea

    I worked for Shriver Job Corps for two years and reported them to OIG.  The center is sorely mis-managed and I would certainly think twice before sending my child there.  They are more sconcerned with the numbers they send to the DOL thanthey are concerned with providing a quality education.  Check with the local employment office to see the huge staff turn-over due to firings or people quitting.

  • Anonymous

    Shriver was subsequently fined $14,500.00 by the OIG for inaccurate reporting to the DOL. The center director dismissed their investigation to employees by indicating that “nothing was found” directly after the audit was completed. Check out the following link:
    The only thing director level management is concerned with is how they look in the eyes of the corporate office. There is no recourse for staff employees who sincerely try to fill their job descriptions, since human resources is managed by a very unhappy woman who constantly gossips and encourages unnecessary discipline for her own twisted personal reasons. Attached is a link detailing the 1.5 billion dollars it costs taxpayers to fund this program, & the suggestion to Congress that it be eliminated.

  • Andrea

    Shriver was also investigated by the DOL (Department of Labor) Wage and Hour Division for unfair labor practices. (I filed that written complaint also… while I was still working there.)  Shriver routinely harrassed staff into working through their lunch breaks and by urging them to work overtime without added pay (a direct violation of Massachusetts State Law). Shriver employees were also “coerced” to “volunteer” to come in at night to teach evening programs without pay. The center is severely short-staffed which causes the overall program quality to suffer… employees are angry; management is unskilled, untrained, and stressed by corporate goals to produce, produce,  in a bad economy.  I pray to God there will not be a shooting or some other tragedy there from an angry employee who was lied about by management or fired for a petty reason.  The center morale is awful, employees are afraid and intimidated by the stressed, anxious management.

  • Tim

    I’d like to shake the hand of the person who wrote the second comment. The first attached link is proof of the validity of Andrea’s complaints to the OIG. I was an involuntary participant the time card procedure in which employees were expected to record lunch breaks that could not be taken, omit hours worked if the weekly totals exceeded 40, or document anything that would result in overtime compensation. I worked in Human Resources for almost 2 years, and gossip doesn’t even begin to describe what the HR Manager is capable of. She told me with “intrigue” of a current director who had a student loan payroll garnishment (a finance issue totally unrelated to HR), and of a confidential medical condition of a former manager who has since become a personal friend of mine. It would be poetic justice for slander and defamation of character suits to be filed in a court of law. She would look more foolish than she did during my DUA hearing in which the evidence presented in my case was overwhelmingly in my favor, resulting in a successful outcome with little deliberation.

  • Former Employee

    I have to second what Andrea and Tim stated.  I actually worked at teh Grafton center (which is also managed by Adams) for over two years.  The place is poorly mismanaged, numbers are the only concern, and the program is short staffed where proper education and after school activities could not be provided.  Every Friday someone was getting fired for some reason that many times, not all, seemed frivilous.  This was by far the worst job I have ever had and it is driectly related to how this company manages their centers.  I hope this is just the beginning of issues briught to the surface.

  • Andrea T.

    If you are a student or former or present employee at Job Corps and have a story to tell, please see my newly created Facebook Page:  “Job Corps/Fraud for Taxpayers” and post your story.  Please no profanity or names of students or staff.  Thank you Youth Today for being an important resource for our kids! 

  • Eva

         I have to say it is sure is a long time coming that some one would finally bring the mis managed issues of Job Corps to the light of day. I am speaking from a admissions contractors point of view

    YES! it is strictly a numbers game we are only given thirty days to recruit students to the centers we all have un realistic goals out of an office of 3 Admissions Counselors we are expected to enroll 60 new enrollees a month to our gap centers inspite of the fact  that the centers are full and no empty beds on center definitley no training seats open  we are expected to recruit, recruit more and more because the centers have high termination rates or students just leave due to mis management

    the Department of labor turns a deaf hear to all issues for the sake of the numbers I have witnessed so much over the past 15 years I have worked with Job Corps all in the name of saving our disadvantaged youth of america. This could be the furthest thing from the  truth!! I could go on forever but I am so glad I have found this venting opportunity I will be checking in frequently!!!

  • Andrea T.

    Please visit the brand new website on Word Press, where it’s hoped to be a “obne stop” resource for information about Job Corps throughout the USA.

  • pat

      I left Shriver for the simple fact that no one there knows what they are doing or even cares about the students.  When a crises arrives, everyone melts down.  I have been subjected to one incident that should  be reported, but I am afraid that somehow it may get back to Adams.  By the way, he is the biggest joke there.  Thanks for listening!! listening

  • Andrea T.

    I almost forgot to mention that after I posted my remark above on 11/6/2009; about a week later, Adams and Associates from corporate in Maryland had the state police contact me. Apparently there was a concern about the type of language I used in the above comment. I stand by my statement, however, I did promise to “change my language” about Shriver from now on.  When you visit my new website, you’ll have to agree my tone of voice is much more logical, factual and has documented paperwork and reports to back up my assertions! My research will continue!  

  • Slavery

    The same thing is happening at the Little Rock Job Corps Staff is treated very poorly. Unqualified people are rewarded because participate in unfair practices. Unfair treatment of employees is awarded by upper management to people that stand up or question them. The turnover at the Little Rock Job Corps is great. Students are not being educated or trained in their trades. Mismanagement of government money. Students are not receiving the training they need. Outside company’s are being hired to do the work the students should be trained to do. I wish someone would come and investigate the Little Rock Job Corps Center. A lot of illegal activity is never reported. Everything that is happening at the other Adams and Associates Centers is happening at the Little Rock Job Corps Center.