Unsettling rumours that Victoria-owned GT Hiring was bought by the US multinational Maximus Inc have now been confirmed. This now means that two multinationals have 30 per cent of the provincial funding for employment training in BC, in multi-year contracts that could last up to 2028.
As if BC seniors’ care facilities ending up owned by the Chinese government wasn’t a harsh enough lesson about what happens when you privatize social care, this latest news is an alarming new example. Acquisition is a classic corporate move. Large multinationals like Maximus look for small, successful companies working in the area they want to work in, and they buy them. When they show up with millions of dollars to spend on a strategic acquisition, it’s pretty tough for the local company to say no.
Generally, there’s not enough money in social service contracts to attract a multinational. But when we’re talking major procurements like the employment training contracts, that’s a whole other story.
With government clearly signalling that it wants to use procurement for more social services, it’s obvious where this trend could go. Board Voice believes that non-profits doing social care must press our case for the non-profit model for these vital services ever more vigorously.
What this latest acquisition means in practical terms is that Maximus now manages all employment training from Nanaimo south on Vancouver Island – a $91.4 million contract over the next five years – and also in Mission, Abbotsford and the Southern Okanagan.
With those two latest contracts, Maximus now has $163 million worth of contracts in BC, and “owns” five regions, which is the maximum allowed under the BC government contract. WCG, which is owned by Australian-based Providence Service Corporation, also manages contracts in five regions.