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State Opens Two Programs for Hurricane Job Seekers

October 18th, 2018 by Mike Vasilinda
Thousands of people are either unable to work or their their jobs disappeared with Hurricane Michael’s winds, but the state has activated two programs to help get people back on their feet.
Chattahoochee Florida, forty miles west of the Capitol, is in shambles.
The already distressed Main Street now looks like a ghost town.
“There are a lot of people all over the panhandle in so many counties and  communities that not only don’t have a job but don’t have a place to go if there was electricity because so many buildings don’t have roofs and a lot of buildings don’t exist anymore, so they can’t open,” said Cissy Proctor, Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
It’s here, and dozens of other places the state has set up a mobile jobs center.
Aquilla Washington worked in a day care center until Michael hit.
“All the windows are out and a tree fell down in the middle of the day care center,” said Washington. “Hopefully they can get me another job so I can get what my kids need because I lost all the clothes and everything.”
To help people like Aquilla, the state has activated two programs.
The first is Disaster Unemployment assistance.
“It’s not all your wages, but it can help you get through some tough times,” said Proctor.
The second will pay people like Aquila to help in the recover.
That’s her first choice.
“I can help clean up the debris. I can serve food. I can do all that,” said Washington.
The center we visited was supposed to close at noon.
It will be open all day.
The good news is that people can collect disaster unemployment assistance and get paid to help the recovery.
Just how many are out of work is an unknown, but unemployment figures for Michael won’t be known until just before Thanksgiving.
The spike is expected to drop sharply in the following months.

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