Allegations About the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services' Operations in Cleveland, Ohio

HRD-80-105: Published: Aug 27, 1980. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 1980.

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In July 1979, the recently retired District Manager of the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services (OBES) for the Cleveland area charged OBES with failing to correct numerous problems in providing services to the unemployed. Specifically, the former District Manager said that: (1) unemployed persons in Cleveland were not being placed in jobs because the Cleveland Employment Services' offices were inadequately staffed while suburban offices were fully staffed; and (2) the facilities in Cleveland were physically inadequate to serve the population of Cleveland, while two offices serving mostly white suburban populations were modern and well-equipped; and (3) locations of OBES offices were not adequate. GAO examined: (1) OBES practices in staffing local job service offices and in using the computerized job match system; and (2) the physical conditions and locations of OBES local offices.

The Cleveland District of OBES covers the counties of Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, and Geauga. OBES has 11 employment offices in this district: 6 in Cuyahoga County (4 in Cleveland), 2 in Lorain, and 1 in Lake, Medina, and Geauga Counties. GAO believed the Downtown, Superior, and East offices appear to be overstaffed relative to the other four offices in Cuyahoga and Lake Counties, while the Parma, West, and Painesville offices appear to be understaffed. GAO analysis of productivity showed that for the fiscal year 1979, Parma, West, and South appeared to be more productive offices, and the Downtown, Superior, and East offices appeared to be relatively less productive. GAO found all except two of the nine offices inspected in the Cleveland District required repair, maintenance, or relocation. The two offices not requiring this were the recently acquired Parma and East offices. While GAO did not believe that OBES had furnished and maintained offices in the suburban areas at the expense of offices in Cleveland, it was the opinion of GAO that OBES had not been timely in performing repair, maintenance, and relocation. GAO also that found the offices in the Cuyahoga County area are reasonably located and allow all segments of the population to be served. Additional offices are needed in the Cleveland area according to regional Labor and OBES Central Office officials.

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