Troubled city job training program gets merged with Invest Atlanta

The Atlanta City Council approved legislation Oct. 19 to merge its troubled job training program, WorkSource Atlanta, with its economic development arm, Invest Atlanta.

The council approved an intergovernmental agreement between the city and Invest Atlanta to take over the program designed to train at-risk youth, laid-off workers, chronically unemployed, and disabled for the workforce.

WorkSource has been plagued by accusations of mismanagement and mishandling of money for years. An audit in March showed thousands of dollars in unauthorized spending.

Invest Atlanta officials said they could offer more oversight and streamline the process of connecting people and jobs.

Other items approved Monday include:

• The Council also adopted legislation urging the Georgia General Assembly to enact House Resolution 5309, commonly known as the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act to prohibit discrimination in employment against natural or protective hairstyles. The House bill seeks to ban discrimination based on a person’s hairstyle or hair texture if the hairstyle or texture is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin.

• An ordinance to amend the City’s Zoning Ordinance to create a definition of a “party house,” establish regulations by which party houses may operate, and prohibit “party houses” in residential districts.

• A resolution to accept the recommendations of the Mayor’s Police Use of Force Advisory Council as outlined in the group’s final report. The legislation also establishes a process for a series of work sessions to be convened by the Council’s Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee to review and discuss implementing the recommendations.

• A resolution to establish a task force to determine an appropriate manner in which to honor Hank Aaron, John Lewis, Joseph E. Lowery, C.T. Vivian and Andrew Young for being recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Several items were introduced that will be considered in committee next week, including:

• An ordinance to protect Atlanta’s legacy residents and prohibit the predatory tactics used to harass homeowners into selling their property and becoming the victims of equity theft.

• An ordinance amending the City of Atlanta Code of Ordinances to require the detention of a defendant until the initial appearance hearing for certain vehicular offenses related to street racing which create dangers to persons or property.

• An ordinance to provide for the regulation and taxation of short-term rentals within Atlanta.

• A resolution requesting the City’s Department of Transportation commissioner develop a street lighting plan in the interest of promoting safety along city streets.

• A resolution requesting the City’s Department of Transportation commissioner develop a sidewalk master plan which will prioritize the installation of sidewalks in high-injury areas, on streets where mass transit is provided, and any other highly traveled corridors of the city.

• A resolution requesting the City’s Department of Transportation commissioner conduct a study to determine the feasibility of establishing a program to train and hire City employees for transportation infrastructure-related job opportunities.

• A resolution requesting the City of Atlanta’s Department of Human Resources work with all City departments to develop a preliminary plan that would outline opportunities for eligible City of Atlanta employees to work remotely post the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley is the editor of Atlanta Intown.