U.S. Labor Secretary Notes $10 Million Grant to Assist N.C. Workers Following Hurricanes

September 23, 2004

U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao visited Asheville, North Carolina on Thursday to survey hurricane damage and announce a National Emergency Grant of up to $10 million, with an initial release of $3.5 million. The grant will assist workers in the state affected by recent hurricanes.

“President Bush and I want workers affected by these disasters to know that help is available now,” Chao said. “Federal and state agencies are working hard to make sure that dislocated workers have access to temporary jobs, supportive services such as transportation and child care expenses, and disaster unemployment insurance as quickly and easily as possible.”

The National Emergency Grant will provide temporary employment on projects that provide food, clothing, shelter and other humanitarian assistance for disaster victims. Funds will also be used to provide temporary workers for demolition, renovation and reconstruction of destroyed public structures. Information about these temporary job opportunities is available at local Job Link Centers located in counties where disaster declarations have been made. Call 1-(877) 872-5627 or visit www.servicelocator.org for more information.

Counties that have been declared eligible for public assistance by FEMA in the wake of hurricanes Frances and Ivan include Avery, Bladen, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey.

National Emergency Grants are part of the Secretary’s discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state’s ability to meet specific guidelines. This grant is part of the Administration’s effort to provide comprehensive relief and support to the victims of hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan as well as tropical storm Bonnie.

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