EAST LIBERTY, Pa. - The Allegheny County Health Department is investigating the Job Corp Center in East Liberty after a former employee posted a video online showing alleged deplorable conditions.
Edward Pollard, who worked in the kitchen at the residential vocational school, told Channel 11’s Timyka Artist that he lost his job over the video.
“You treat our kids like they’re animals. You want to feed us stuff like this, but I wouldn’t feed something like this to a dog,” Pollard said. “These conditions just aren’t tolerable.”
According to Pollard, he shot the video of the kitchen area on Feb. 9 in hopes of getting the food services director to clean up the kitchen.
“He kept telling me they were going to make changes but it wasn’t in the budget,” Pollard said.
Pollard said the video shows food being prepared on dirty grills and stoves that look they haven’t been cleaned in a long time. He also said there was a rat trap with a dead rat in the back of an oven.
The health department said after seeing the video and receiving several complaints, they’re investigating the kitchen.
“Hopefully the kids can get better treatment that what they’re getting,” Pollard said.
According to Pollard, he was fired three days after he posted the video on YouTube. He told Artist that he had been promoted twice during the two years he worked there.
After running the story on Wednesday, Channel 11 News received more than a dozen calls and emails from students and staff members complaining about the conditions inside the Job Corps Center.
“Sometimes the smell is overwhelming,” student Angelo Carr said.
“I think the government and department of labor should be ashamed of themselves, I really do,” former worker Phillip Shields said.
Students also told Channel 11’s Timyka Artist that they were informed by personnel that if they spoke to the media, they could be kicked out of school.