Apalach Oysters, Local Economy Get Boost from Labor Department

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US Department of Labor Release: US DOL provides grant supplement to assist Florida with continued recovery efforts following Tropical Storm Debby

WASHINGTON − The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of a $2,699,712 National Emergency Grant supplement to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity following the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Debby. The supplement will continue funding temporary jobs for eligible dislocated workers who are assisting with cleanup and recovery efforts.

“Tropical Storm Debby inflicted significant damage on the oyster beds in the Apalachicola Bay,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “The Labor Department’s supplemental funding will create temporary jobs for dislocated workers to re-shell the bay in order to help restore the oyster population and the local economy.”

On July 3, the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared the following Florida counties eligible for FEMA’s Public Assistance Program: Baker, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Gulf, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Liberty, Manatee, Nassau, Pasco, Sarasota, Suwannee, Union and Wakulla. More information on designated disaster areas in Florida is available from FEMA at http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4068/affected-counties.

An original National Emergency Grant in the amount of $256,953 was awarded to the state of Florida July 23. Of the $2,699,712 supplement announced today, $1,238,570 will be released initially, bringing the total funding awarded to date to $1,495,523. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance.

National Emergency Grants are part of the secretary of labor’s discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state’s ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit http://www.doleta.gov/NEG.

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