FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2008   

CONTACT: Robby Cunningham, (850) 245-7130, (850) 728-3996

State Receives Emergency Workforce Funds

~Grant will provide humanitarian relief and help local economies~

Tallahassee, FL – The State of Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation today received a National Emergency Grant (NEG) of up to $20 million, with $8 million released initially.  Under the direction of Governor Crist, the Agency applied to the U.S. Department of Labor for the NEG on August 22, to address the growing needs of those affected by Tropical Storm Fay.

“I have toured many parts of our great state and spoken with a number of Floridians in the wake of Tropical Storm Fay,” said Governor Charlie Crist.  “This grant will help our most affected communities to rebuild by immediately putting Floridians back to work.”

Agency for Workforce Innovation Director Monesia T. Brown added, “We are very grateful to Secretary Chao and our partners at the U.S. Department of Labor for expediting the release of these critical funds.  Nearly every Floridian has been impacted by this disaster and the National Emergency Grant will help speed up recovery efforts for both our citizens and our businesses.”

This National Emergency Grant will provide:

  • Local Humanitarian Assistance – NEG funds will be used to support Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) and related community outreach in the affected areas. These type activities include staff for distributing vital supplies such as food, water and shelter.  Aid may be administered through public and community organizations and will compliment the response activities of the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other relief organizations.  
  • Emergency Jobs Program – NEG funds will provide jobs for an estimated 6,500 local citizens to help in the clearing of debris on public property and lands, and to address other clean-up issues related to Tropical Storm Fay.  Regional Workforce Boards will operate the programs in the affected areas, and citizens are able to apply directly for the jobs at local Disaster Recovery Centers. 

Disaster Recovery Centers are now open in Barefoot Bay and Melbourne, and others will open as needed throughout the state.  The locations are:

Barefoot Bay Community Storefront
935 Barefoot Bay Blvd., Barefoot Bay

Martin Luther King Jr. Library
955 E. University Blvd., Melbourne

The Agency for Workforce Innovation and its local workforce board partners are assisting with and staffing local Disaster Recovery Centers.  The Agency is also continuing to work with our partners at the U.S. Department of Labor for approval on additional relief.

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