$2 million grant for southern Illinois

Carmi Times

State officials have announced that Illinois has been awarded a $2 million federal grant by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to help workers who lost their jobs due to severe storms and flooding earlier this month in southern Illinois.

The funding will provide dislocated workers in certain federal disaster-declared counties with temporary employment assisting in the clean-up and restoration of public properties in 21 impacted counties.

"The severe storms that swept through parts of the Midwest earlier this summer left many in southern Illinois without basic necessities, including jobs that were washed away by the storms," said Governor Quinn. "This funding will create temporary employment and a source of income for those in need, while also helping communities recover."

"The past few months have been incredibly challenging for many residents of Southern Illinois. The financial distress that accompanies a serious flood really takes an additional toll on families already struggling under difficult circumstances. I'm pleased to join Governor Quinn in the announcement of this federal funding. When it comes to the clean up, there is much work to do. This funding pairs that work with the people who have the biggest stake in the recovery and the most immediate need for employment," said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).

With the funding, Illinois anticipates being able to assist approximately 115 dislocated workers. Participants must be people who have lost their jobs due to the storms/flooding and must be Workforce Investment Act (WIA) eligible dislocated workers. The work is expected to last approximately six months, depending on specific clean-up projects.

The grant is being funded by the DOL's National Emergency Grant (NEG) program, which is designed to create temporary jobs to assist in clean-up and restoration efforts as a result of a disaster. A total of 21 southern Illinois counties are eligible for public assistance, including: Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White and Williamson counties.

"Spring storms dealt a severe blow to the communities of southern Illinois this year," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Today's grant will help the residents in this region to clean up their towns and begin to get back on their feet."

"Recovery from this spring's storms can't happen overnight, but this funding will help start the clean-up process and get people working while getting their lives back in order," Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Warren Ribley stated.

The program will be administered by DCEO's Office of Employment and Training, which provides employment training and workforce skills to assist adult, youth and dislocated workers in getting sustainable employment or furthering their long-term career goals. DCEO will work closely with the Local Workforce Areas in administering the funds and providing day-to-day program oversight.