The grant, awarded to the Illinois Department of Commerce and
Economic Opportunity's Bureau of Workforce Development, will be used
to provide temporary employment on projects for the cleanup,
demolition, repair, renovation and reconstruction of damaged public
structures, facilities and lands within affected communities. Funds
will also be used for projects that provide food, clothing, shelter
and other types of humanitarian assistance for disaster victims,
including work on the homes of individuals who are eligible for the
federally funded weatherization program. Additional funds may be
available to train participating workers in occupations that lead to
"I am very pleased that the U.S. Department of Labor recognized
the urgency of our request and quickly approved this grant to assist
people who have been devastated by floodwaters and storms,"
Blagojevich said. "This grant will allow hundreds of people to have
access to employment opportunities, which will help people get back
on their feet and start the road to recovery."
Individuals eligible to participate in National Emergency Grant
disaster projects include workers who have been temporarily or
permanently dislocated as a result of the disaster; eligible
dislocated workers who are unemployed and not receiving unemployment
compensation or other types of income support; and individuals who
are long-term unemployed. Priority will be given to individuals who
have experienced temporary or permanent job loss as a result of the
Starting July 7, individuals interested in applying to be a part
of the program should contact their local Illinois workNet Center in
the affected areas or visit
will also be available through the disaster recovery centers.
Disaster recovery centers are located in:
Quincy: Andrew Infirmary, Illinois Veterans Home, 1707 N. 12th
Monmouth: Monmouth College, Huff Auditorium, 700 E. Broadway
Lawrenceville: Parkview Junior High School, 1802 Cedar St.
Employment may last up to six months or 1,040 hours. Participants
must be paid the higher of the federal, state or local minimum wage,
or the comparable rates of pay for other individuals employed in
similar occupations by the same employer. The maximum wage paid to
any one participant in a single natural disaster is generally
$12,000 (excluding fringe benefits).
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"We will begin working immediately with the U.S. Department of
Labor to get the employment program up and running as quickly as
possible. Bringing hundreds of jobs to the region helps Illinois
families, strengthens the local economy and rebuilds our
communities," said Jack Lavin, director of the Illinois Department
of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
On June 25, the federal government approved Blagojevich's request
for federal assistance for people and businesses in 14 counties
affected by recent severe storms and flooding. The federal disaster
declaration will enable affected people in the area to access
temporary housing, grants or loans to help with flood-related
losses, while businesses will be eligible to apply for low-interest
loans. Counties approved for federal assistance are Adams, Clark,
Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Hancock, Henderson,
Jasper, Lake, Lawrence, Mercer and Winnebago. The Department of
Commerce and Economic Opportunity will coordinate this project with
other flood assistance programs made available through the Federal
Emergency Management Agency, the state of Illinois and local
"This $3.5 million grant will boost cleanup and recovery efforts
in Illinois and provide funds for humanitarian assistance for
residents who have suffered storm and flooding damage," said U.S.
Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.
Of the $3.5 million
awarded, $2 million will be released initially. Additional funding
up to the amount approved will be made available as the state
demonstrates a continued need for disaster assistance.
The Bureau of Workforce Development is committed to encouraging
statewide economic development by cultivating a well-trained work
force. To accomplish this goal, the bureau identifies youth, adults
and dislocated workers who are eligible for assistance under the
Workforce Investment Act, assesses their employability skills and
provides training as appropriate for identified sectors of growing
employment demand. Ideally, this will lead to the placement of these
individuals in self-sufficient employment. The bureau also provides
follow-up services leading to employment retention in high-wage and
high-skilled jobs. These services are provided statewide while
maintaining focus on the economic needs of each region.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]