Labor Secretary Announces $50 Million for California Wildfires


The U.S. Department of Labor announced a $50 million grant Oct. 25, with $16.7 million released initially, to create as many as 3,125 temporary jobs to aid in efforts underway in response to the wildfires burning across much of southern California.

"The southern California fires have caused catastrophic damage, and it is critical that the state receives assistance immediately," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "This $50 million National Emergency Grant will fund over 3,000 temporary jobs for workers to aid in cleanup and recovery as well as provide humanitarian assistance to Californians who have suffered in this ongoing disaster."

The grant, awarded to the California Employment Development Department, will provide immediate assistance to the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura. On October 24, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared these counties as eligible for FEMA's Public Assistance Program.

The funds will be used to create temporary employment on projects related to the cleanup, repair, renovation and reconstruction of public structures, facilities and lands within wildfire-afflicted communities. Funds also will be used for projects that provide food, clothing, shelter and other types of humanitarian assistance for disaster victims.

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 on National Emergency Grants, please visit www.doleta.gov/NEG.

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