Seedco, one of NY’s largest nonprofit employment agencies, faked job placements


Seedco, one of New York’s largest nonprofit employment agencies, faked at least 1,400 job placements in less than two years, the New York Times reported

The city's Department of Investigation found that the nonprofit “developed systematic practices to report false placements” to the Department of Small Business Services, the Times reported. In hundreds of cases, Seedco altered dates on jobless clients' work histories and claimed past employment as a new job. 

Seedco is a national nonprofit that operates in 14 states and Washington, D.C. It is an integral part of Mayor Bloomberg's effort to find work for unemployed New Yorkers, according to the Times. 

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The investigation into Seedco's practices looked at a period in between 2010 to 2011, but an untold number of additional false claims may have been destroyed, due to a city policy which allows nonprofits to shred most documents, the Associated Press reported

Seedco has four contracts with New York City to run employment placement centers in Manhattan and the Bronxworth which are worth more than $22 million, WNYC reported. A full copy of the Department of Investigation's report is available on WNYC's website. 

According to the report, the Department of Small Business Services found that Seedco made at least 12 false placements as recently as February, despite the ongoing investigation, the AP reported.  

Seedco President and CEO Barbara Dwyer Gunn said in a statement that the organization takes the allegations seriously and "regrets what happened" at the centers.

"Seedco takes full responsibility for its contractual obligations to the City and in no way tolerates deception by any of its employees," Gunn said in the statement. She said the organization has implemented policy changes to ensure that its data is accurate. 

The New York Times first revealed Seedco's falsification practices last summer after Bill Harper, a former deputy director at a Seedco center, provided 400 examples of false placements. Six former Seedco employees admitted that managers had pressured them to produce thousands of fake job placements, according to the Times. 

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