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BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) today announced that it has been awarded a grant of up to $22.2 million to fund approximately 4,000 temporary jobs for cleanup and restoration efforts as a result of Hurricane Gustav. This work may be coordinated through public and private agencies and organizations engaged in such projects.
The U.S. Department of Labor awarded the $22.2 million National Emergency Grant, which is part of the U.S. Secretary of Labor's discretionary fund and is awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines.
Of the total award, $7.4 million has been immediately released to the LWC. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for disaster assistance.
"The USDOL grant will not only assist our citizens by providing a significant number of jobs, it will also help our state to more quickly recover from the effects of Hurricane Gustav," said Stacy Bonnaffons, Director of the La. Workforce Commission's Office of Workforce Development.
The grant will primarily provide funding for temporary employment on projects for the cleanup, demolition, repair, renovation and reconstruction of destroyed structures and public lands within the disaster-declared communities. These temporary jobs also include positions in support of projects that provide food, clothing, shelter and other humanitarian assistance for disaster victims. The grant will additionally provide for the full array of workforce development services, including training, that are available under the Workforce Investment Act to assist individuals to return to the workforce as soon as possible.
The needs are being assessed in the disaster-declared areas and funding allocated through the coordinated efforts of the local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) working with the local governments in the area, businesses, non-profit entities and faith-based organizations. There are more than 30 LWC Business & Career Solutions Centers in the impacted areas ready to provide assistance on these temporary jobs and employment-related transitional assistance, including training in high-growth, demand occupations and supportive services for individuals to return to the workforce.
These opportunities are available to individuals who are temporarily or permanently out of work as a result of Hurricane Gustav and to other unemployed workers in the affected areas. Individuals, businesses and organizations interested in the program should visit the LWC Web site at www.laworks.net and contact their local Business & Career Solutions Center listed on the Web site for details.
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