Report: Workforce Central Florida ranks last on job placement list

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ORLANDO, Fla. - A central Florida employment agency is under fire Friday.

Workforce Central Florida is supposed to help with job placement, but a new report shows the agency may be falling down on the job.

A report ordered by the governor ranks the agency last in the state for job placement.

A spokesperson for Workforce Central Florida won't say that the ranking is unfair, but she does indicate that central Florida's size puts it at a disadvantage.

WFTV compared its numbers with other large agencies.

Workforce Central Florida received national criticism for its $73,000 "Cape-a-bility Challenge Campaign" two years ago.

It offered job seekers a superhero style cape to help beat what is called "Dr. Evil Unemployment."

Later reports found $800,000 in inappropriate expenses.

Gov. Rick Scott overhauled the agency and created a new accountability system.

His system, designed to show how good an agency is at getting people jobs, places Workforce Central Florida at the bottom of the barrel.

"What we look at is the placement numbers, how many are we actually assisting to get back to work," said Tonya Elliott with Workforce Central Florida.

Scott's ranking system is based on the number of job postings available versus the number of people who find jobs.

"The governor's office comes up with these rankings, are you saying that the system is flawed?" asked WFTV's Lori Brown.

"I'm just saying is what we like to focus on is our placements, how many people are we putting back to work." said Elliott.

While Workforce Central Florida ranks 24th in the state out of the 24 agencies, WFTV learned other large regional boards ranked much higher, including Miami and Tampa.

"I have a family, I have bills," said Mohamed Chaoudi, who is unemployed.

Job seekers like Chaoudi just hope that taxpayers are getting their money's worth, for the $50 million a year they give Workforce Central Florida.

Chaoudi said he does most of the work of finding a job himself.