Agency problems

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Your Dec. 2 editorial, “Serve the Needy” was spot on. At this time, while our economy is still weak, Pennsylvanians need more effective help from government agencies.

Beth Mikus rightly observed that the Department of Public Welfare is woefully understaffed, as are so many of our state agencies (“Union Decries Pa. Welfare Understaffing,” Nov. 25).

As an employee of the Department of Labor and Industry, I can attest to similar understaffing as well as a lack of transparency and accountability, particularly as it relates to the Workforce Investment Boards and the Careerlinks.

The mission of our department has always been to assist in helping people find jobs and/​or obtain training if needed to aid their job search.

This mission has been sidetracked as Workforce Investment Boards and Careerlinks have made us endure pointless turf wars, personal agendas, operators who can’t seem to make simple decisions (such as about adequate phone systems), its management of public funds, WIB interference in the department’s mission and, even the undermining of labor contracts (both violations of the federal Workforce Investment Act).

It is to be hoped that one day soon, the Department of Labor and Industry will likewise work with the Auditor General’s Office to return transparency and accountability and help restore the pride to the commonwealth’s job service.

Chief Steward, SEIU Local 668

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