Iowa’s been awarded another $11.6 million in a national emergency grant to help hire people to rebuild following the natural disasters of 2008. Kerry Koonce of the Iowa Workforce Development Office says the state originally received just over $17-million and 993 people were hired to do the work.
Koonce says you have to be in a county that was originally declared eligible for FEMA assistance, and that included 85 of 99 counties. She says the workers do a variety of projects in those counties. Koonce says they’ve rebuilt damaged dikes and damns in southeast Iowa, worked in parks cleaning up and clearing trees, they’ve also worked in Cedar Rapids on flood recovery projects.
Koonce says the workers gain from the program in a couple of ways, as each individual can make up to $12,000 in wages. Koonce says the wages are significantly higher than what the people would make on unemployment, and they are also learning new work skills at the same time.
Koonce says the new money will allow them to hire more people. Koonce says there are people ready to go, but they are always looking for more people to fill the positions. If you are interested in the program, you should go to your local workforce development center.
Koonce says they will be able to hire just over two-thousand people overall with the new money.