RALEIGH: North Carolina has won $18.5 million to hire North Carolinians from areas hit hard by Hurricane Florence to work on recovery efforts, Governor Roy Cooper announced today.
The funds come from a grant requested by the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Solutions and awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Hurricane Florence has devastated communities and hurt livelihoods,” Gov. Cooper said. “Putting people to work on recovery efforts can help North Carolinians get back on their feet while we work together to recover.”
Through the Disaster Dislocated Worker Grant, residents of counties declared national disaster areas will be employed in jobs that support either clean-up and recovery from the storm’s devastation or humanitarian assistance to residents of the affected areas. Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Dislocated Worker Grants fund temporary jobs in response to large, unexpected events that cause significant job losses.
The 28 counties currently included in the program are: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Lee, Lenoir, Jones, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne and Wilson counties.
“This grant is welcome news for communities that have been devastated by this deadly storm, and we will use these resources to put people back to work and help rebuild the in a smart, comprehensive way,” said Anthony M. Copeland, Secretary of the NC Department of Commerce.
These counties were declared eligible for certain types of assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If additional counties are declared eligible by FEMA, they will be added to the project.
Participants in the grant would be employed by nonprofits and government agencies for up to 12 months. Worksites must generally be on either public property or land owned by not-for-profit agencies.
Workers may be eligible for jobs under the grant by being temporarily or permanently laid off as a consequence of the hurricane, or by meeting certain other criteria.
The Commerce Department’s Workforce Solutions division has recent experience administering a federal grant of this type, in partnership with local workforce development boards. A grant approved in response to Hurricane Matthew in 2016 is set to expire on Sept. 30 and has provided temporary employment to 668 people.
To apply for the Hurricane Florence temporary employment program, residents should visit their local NCWorks Career Center, which can be found by visiting ncworks.gov.