Or, part of a growing fiefdom where the job training is window dressing?
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Ft. Worth is touting their new jobs training for refugees as the economy and the labor market is sliding in the here-to-fore booming Texas. We’ve written previously about how Texas has been hauling in refugees by the thousands* in recent years (to do jobs Americans won’t do?) and not everything has gone so smoothly. See one particularly egregious article from Houston in 2009 (Refugee Horrors in Houston).
Now here is a seemingly innocuous little puff-piece story that sent me looking for more information. The article in KERA begins:
FORT WORTH, TX (KERA) – As unemployment rises in Texas, Catholic Charities of Fort Worth is creating living-wage jobs. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports that’s one reason the national charity group held its first-ever Poverty Summit in downtown Fort Worth.
This job-killing economy has created all kinds of complications, from hunger to ruined relationships. So Catholic Charities of Fort Worth concluded one solution might be job training. But Heather Reynolds, Fort Worth Catholic Charities CEO, says not just any kind of training, because many of her clients already work. But the jobs pay little.
Reynolds: So our goal at Catholic Charities Fort Worth is to get them into jobs that pay them a living wage. How do we get them a job that pays a living wage? Get them skills they need to get a job, how do we develop a work force that is ready for what industries need and then match those two together.
Your tax dollars at work!
It makes Catholic Charities sound so nice, so benevolent, doesn’t it? But, I did some checking. You can’t find their government grant money in their 2010 annual report but you can in their 2009 report here. Also, check out their 2009 Form 990 here. Out of an income stream of just over $14 million half of that, $7 million plus, comes from you the TAXPAYER. You are paying for the job training to train people to compete against you for jobs, while they get paid by the head by the US State Department to import more refugees to Texas!
But that isn’t all I found! The Diocese of Ft. Worth, gets half of its funding from you and pays out more than $6 million in salaries. Ms. Reynolds herself (the CEO) makes a nice “living wage” of $133,000 in salary and benefits.
There is more! The Diocese paid out $9 million dollars that year to building contractor Steele-Freeman who built them a very nice edifice in Ft. Worth to house all their benevolent work!
Sure doesn’t leave much for the poor between $6 million in salaries and $9 million for a fancy building. Imagine how far $9 million would go for actually helping the people!
Oh, and one more thing! If you happen to be in Ft. Worth today—run right over to Billy Bob’s for Texas-sized fun at the POVERTY SUMMIT! I kid you not, this is from their website today (sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit or a Jon Stewart spoof!):
Please Plan to join us at the Catholic Charities USA Annual Gathering & Poverty Summit September 18-21, and come out for a Texas-sized fun time at Billy Bob’s on Tuesday, September 20th.
* Texas now receives the third highest number of refugees in the nation behind California and Florida (see 2008 Annual Report to Congress Appendix).