Finance News & Insights

Agency spends $73K in federal funds on capes for the unemployed

Someone should’ve thought to stop this return-to-work agency before it rolled out a marketing campaign that included a cartoon character named “Dr. Evil Unemployment.”

Workforce Central Florida has come under fire recently because of its “Cape-A-Bility Challenge,” a campaign that aimed to distribute 6,000 superhero capes to jobless individuals in Florida.

The agency didn’t want to simply hand out these controversial capes, either. To get one, people had to become a fan of Workforce Central Florida on Facebook and take the “What Superhero Are You?” quiz — or have a picture taken with a foam cutout of WFC’s Dr. Evil Unemployment.

The ridiculous and insensitive superhero theme of the campaign wasn’t the only thing that drew the public’s ire, the cost was also an issue. WCF, which is federally funded, spent a total of $73,000 on the “Cape-A-Bility Challenge”  — with the capes alone costing $14,000.

The campaign caused such a public outcry that Workforce Central Florida was forced to shut it down, and a state investigation into the agency’s spending is currently under way.

According to Workforce Central Florida Vice President Kimberly Sullivan, the unorthodox campaign was meant to “generate awareness of WCF and our programs” not to “minimize the difficulties of unemployment.”

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