Residents who lost their jobs due to the June flooding may be able to receive temporary work.
State Rep. Amos Thomas (R-Brazil) recently informed the Clay County Commissioners about a $2.4 million grant which will create approximately 200 temporary jobs throughout the State of Indiana.
"The work will be specifically for flood cleanup on public lands like roads and bridges," he said. "Residents who lost their jobs because of the flood, and have filed for unemployment, will be the first ones chosen for work."
The grant, which comes from the United States Department of Labor, is available to elected officials in counties and municipalities without having to apply for it.
"Money from the grant will not only go to hire temporary workers, but it can be used to rent, not purchase, equipment to assist in the cleanup effort," Thomas told The Brazil Times.
Thomas added that the grant would be in effect until June 7, 2009, and would pay workers approximately $10 an hour.
"Of course, for workers with higher skills, like electricians, the compensation has the potential to be increased," he said.
Indiana Workforce Development (IWD) Deputy of Government Affairs John Ruckelshaus joined Thomas in informing the commissioners about the grant.
"We were actually surprised by how few were displaced by the flood," he said. "Approximately only 1,000 people in the entire state lost their jobs."
IWD Press Secretary Gary Abell added that while the grant is in effect until June 2009, workers are eligible to work a total of 1,040 hours.
"Work can also be for not-for-profit agencies, but the county or municipal officials must contact us first," Abell said. "Because no application has to be filed, we will work with area officials to get the assistance they need in specific areas."
Other workers down on their luck may also be eligible to receive temporary employment.
"Those displaced by the flood will be the top priority, and the next tier are those who have been dislocated by their jobs due to a closing who have exhausted their unemployment benefits," Ruckelshaus said. "For example, those who were laid off as part of the closing of MI Windows and Doors a couple of years ago and have been unable to find work since will also be eligible."
Residents who are eligible should put in a general application with WorkOne, who will contact individuals to be hired.
"We are waiting to receive work orders from the county first before we contact people," Ruckelshaus told The Brazil Times. "Displaced workers need to be aware that they must have an application with WorkOne in order to be considered."
He added that Manpower will be the employer of record and will be the agency writing pay checks and covering insurance benefits. Manpower will then send a bill to the IWD to have grant funds released.
"We are using the same model that has been used in Florida following hurricane disasters," Ruckelshaus said. "The program has been very successful there and we are hoping for the same result."
To find the nearest WorkOne location, visit workoneworks.com.