A story is only half told if only one side has been presented. – Icelandic Proverb
When the Patrick-Murray administration issues a press release in the middle of August, and the press runs it with only half the story, I get suspicious. Such was the case this week with the story on the the number of “paychecks” Governor Patrick and Tim Murray created weatherizing homes. No where in that story was listed how much money was spent on this project.
Luckily the state is keeping track of all the money spent in the Stimulus, including how many full time equivalent jobs are being created. You however have to dig for the information. Yesterday afternoon I dug further into the information and found that Patrick-Murray has spent $75M of $125M alloted so far on the projects.
Last night I did a little more digging to find out how many jobs that $125M is on track to create. Would it shock you if I told you 400 jobs? Well that’s what the people in the Patrick-Murray administration that write the report are hoping.
The ARRA Weatherization program anticipates creating over 400 full-time positions within the Commonwealth’s Weatherization Subgrantee agencies and private-sector weatherization contractors. The number of energy auditors employed at the 12 non-profit and housing agencies that operate the ARRA WAP program has increased from 38 to 92 full time positions since ARRA began. Prior to ARRA, 55 private-sector weatherization contractors worked statewide for the Subgrantee agencies to meet annual Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program goals for installing energy-saving measures. Three more contractors joined the program this quarter so as of June 30, 2011, one-hundred and thirty contractors (130) have worked on ARRA WAP projects. As part of its support for workforce development, up to $1 million in ARRA Weatherization funding was committed to the MassGREEN Initiative to “develop, maintain, and deliver workforce career training for energy efficiency and building science in Massachusetts.” Massachusetts community colleges began offering weatherization business development courses and Building Performance Institute (BPI) Training and Certification courses in addition to the energy efficiency technologies training courses. The program targets two primary audiences: building contractors and unemployed trades people looking to gain new green building skills and unskilled or under-skilled workers who work for contractors. DHCD expects that it will be an outstanding resource for the MA Weatherization Assistance Program.
Now, because of the title you may have done some quick math. According to the Patrick-Murray administration the total available grant pool is $125,000,000, of which $75,000,000 has been spent. The Patrick-Murray administration above States that it is their hope that 400 full time equivalent positions will be created. Now if I take $125M and divide it by 400 jobs I get $312,500 per job. Since the Federal Government is on track to borrow $040 of every dollar it spends that means that $125,000 of that number is borrowed.
Now I don’t know about you, but $312,500 per created job seems a bit excessive.