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MDES gets funding to hire disaster recovery workers

WEST MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) is providing grants to help governments and nonprofits hire workers to provide humanitarian assistance as well as to clean remaining flood-related damage in the Mississippi River area.

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded MDES a $3-million National Emergency Grant to provide funding for these public-service assistance jobs.

“We encourage cities, counties and nonprofits to take advantage of these funds,” MDES executive director Les Range said. “Governments and nonprofits can apply to be work sites. People affected by the flooding can apply for the jobs available at the work sites.”

Workers can earn $7.25 an hour to $25 an hour, depending on the jobs and prevailing wages in their areas. Those affected by the flood are given priority in hiring.

These temporary jobs last up to six months or until the worker earns $12,000, whichever comes first. Unemployment Insurance benefits may not be collected while working these jobs.

Workers are eligible who are out-of-work due to the disaster, currently laid off from a job or long-term unemployed (out of work at least 15 weeks during the past six months).

Jobs include debris cleaners, humanitarian aides, drivers, office workers, social service aides, construction workers and others, as needed.

This grant covers areas damaged by the flooding Mississippi River and its tributaries during May and June, declared disaster areas by the federal government and eligible for public assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This includes the counties of Adams, Bolivar, Claiborne, Coahoma, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Sharkey, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Wilkinson and Yazoo.

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