The U.S. Department of Labor has recently launched a $12,845,000 National Emergency Grant to help Puerto Rico with recovery efforts following massive destruction caused by Hurricane Irene. The grant serves a dual purpose, providing displaced workers with jobs, and providing jobs that are related to cleanup and recovery.
“This storm cut a path of destruction across Puerto Rico, leaving more than a million people with no power, flooded streets and downed trees,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “This federal assistance will fund more than 1,500 temporary jobs for eligible dislocated workers to help with cleanup and recovery in communities that were hard hit by the hurricane’s winds and rain.”
The D.O.L. notes that National Emergency Grants are part of the Secretary of Labor’s discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state or territory’s ability to meet specific requirements. The grants typically enhance training and employment programs by providing funding in response to large, unexpected economic events which cause significant job losses.
The grant will be given to the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources. Of the $12,845,000 set aside for the commonwealth, $4,281,667 will be released initially with larger monetary increments planned for release in the event that Puerto Rico needs ongoing assistance.
“The Federal Emergency Management Agency declared the following Puerto Rico municipalities eligible for FEMA’s Public Assistance Program: Adjuntas, Aguada, Aguas Buenas, Aibonito, Anasco, Arecibo, Arroyo, Barranquitas, Bayamon, Caguas, Canovanas, Carolina, Catano, Cayey, Ceiba, Ciales, Cidra, Coamo, Comerio, Corozal, Culebra, Fajardo, Guayama, Guaynabo, Gurabo, Humacao, Jayuya, Juana Diaz, Juncos, Las Marias, Las Piedras, Luquillo, Maricao, Maunabo, Morovis, Naguabo, Naranjito, Orocovis, Rincon, Rio Grande, Sabana Grande, Salinas, San Lorenzo, Santa Isabel, Trujillo Alto, Utuado, Vega Baja, Vieques, Villalba, Yabucoa and Yauco.