Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Business Still Waits to Be Paid; Job Corps Management Was Privatized; Duval Company Holding the Bag

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Business Still Waits to Be Paid; Job Corps Management Was Privatized; Duval Company Holding the Bag

Article excerpt

Byline: Kevin Turner

Through his company, Pug Promotions, Jacksonville businessman Alan Kagan works with area companies to design and produce promotional items such as shirts, hats, pens, memo pads and other items branded with logos and other messages for distribution to customers or for advertising.

He said he's been paid slowly for products he's delivered before, but he never expected to be stiffed by the federal government. But thanks to a company to which the U.S. Department of Labor "out-sourced" management of Jacksonville Job Corps, that's exactly what's happened, he said.

Kagan runs his company out of his home office, and Jacksonville Job Corps has been one of his clients for about 10 years, he said. He produces requested Job Corps promotional items before he gets paid, and for years, that arrangement has worked fine, he said.

But about eight months ago, Job Corps began paying his invoices more and more slowly, he said. By October, when he received the last payment, it was about 60 days after goods were delivered.

And when the payments stopped altogether, Kagan said Job Corps owed him more than $6,000 for custom cafeteria and custodial uniforms, printed binders to be given to Job Corps graduates, memo pads with pens and 400 baseball caps - all imprinted with the Job Corps logo. Job Corps continues to use the items, although he has not been paid.

While that amount may not sound like a lot to other government vendors, it is to Kagan, he said.

"I have to do three times as much business elsewhere just to break even," he said. He said he has "very little hope" that he will be paid for the Job Corps work.

Kagan's invoices haven't been cleared because a private company, Cleveland-based Applied Technology Systems Inc., hasn't paid them. The company ran the Jacksonville Job Corps center last year after the function was privatized. …

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