It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s just an unemployed guy in a red cape.
A Florida unemployment agency is under investigation for spending $14,000 in public funds on red superhero capes as part or broader campaign that frames joblessness as a battle between good and evil. The agency, Workforce Central Florida, even created a fictional villain, Dr. Evil Unemployment, whose superpower is apparently handing out pink slips in a bid to somehow take over the world.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Workforce Central Florida has spent $73,000 overall on the Cape-A-Bility campaign, including $14,200 for 6,000 red satin capes, and an additional $2,300 for cardboard cutouts of Dr. Evil Unemployment.
To earn a cape, prospective superheros can take part in a WCF event, post a job listing to the agency’s website, submit a photo of themselves with a cutout of Dr. Evil Unemployment, or become a fan of the WCF Facebook page. In addition to a red cape, job seekers and employers who perform any of those tasks also become eligible to win a $1,000 prize pack of gift cards and tickets to WCF events.
The AP reported Tuesday that Florida’s unemployment agency director, Cynthia Lorenzo, had called for an investigation into WCF over their use of funds, saying the spending appeard to be “insensitive and wasteful.”
No word yet on what powers the red capes bestow on those who wear them.