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Picking up the Pieces: Fay Funds Put People Back to Work

September 23rd, 2008 by flanews

Debris from Tropical Storm Fay still litters parts of Florida. The cleanup efforts will take months, but as Whitney Ray tells us, the process is being fast tracked by a federal grant to hire the states unemployed to pick up the mess.

Hear it Here: Fay Funds Put People Back to Work

Trees downed by Tropical Storm Fay still litter parts of Florida. A 20 million dollar Federal disaster grant will help park directors, like Pat Plocek of Leon County, hire people to clear debris off walking trails.

It will be an independent crew, that well give them directions on what to do, but basically that crew goes out on its own and does the work, and our normally crews can continue doing the work they need to be doing to keep the rest of the train system in shape, Plocek said.

The grant could put 6-thousand unemployed Floridians back to work. So far, more than a hundred people have been hired to help clean up the mess.

Some debris cleanup will have to wait until waters from Tropical Storm Fay finally recede. The State Agency for Workforce Innovation says the damage is still being assessed.

Were doing ongoing assessments, working closely with FEMA and the Department of Labor to ensure that the aid thats necessary to help get Floridians back on their feet is available for them, said AWI spokesman Robby Cunningham.

The grant help Pat Day get back on her feet. Pat was unemployed for three months. This week federal funds were used to hire her to help coordinate cleanup efforts.

Im just glad I was able to assist the community, Day said.

While the jobs created with the grant are temporary, every little bit helps at a time when the states unemployment rate exceeds the national average. To apply for a disaster recovery job you can visit one of the states 12 disaster recovery centers. A list of the center can be found at www.floridajobs.org.

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