The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) today received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for a $15.9 million National Emergency Grant (NEG) to fund 600 temporary jobs in the
29 Texas counties impacted by Hurricane Ike.

 “Thanks to our federal partners, this funding for temporary jobs will be invaluable to Texans devastated in the wake of Hurricane Ike,” said Gov. Rick Perry. “Through the Texas Workforce Commission, these funds will help hard-working Texans continue to support their families as they begin rebuilding their homes and lives.”

The NEG funds can be used to provide wages and benefits to eligible Temporary Jobs participants for the next six months in Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller and Washington counties.

“Hurricane Ike has devastated major areas in the Southeast part of Texas. With this emergency funding, TWC will be able to provide temporary jobs to help speed the recovery of those areas of our state most impacted by Hurricane Ike,” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken. “Through temporary jobs, employment assistance and disaster-related unemployment benefits, TWC stands ready to help.”

The local workforce development board areas impacted by the disaster and funded by TWC will coordinate with local and county governments to provide the temporary jobs to workers dislocated as a result of Hurricane Ike. The NEG grant also may be used for food, clothing, shelter and other types of humanitarian aid.

To date, TWC has processed more than 34,400 claims for disaster-related unemployment benefits for those workers whose employment, agricultural employment, or self-employment was lost or interrupted due to Hurricane Ike. In addition, TWC and its local workforce boards will assist workers displaced as a result of the disaster through mobile workforce centers, employer assistance and partnering with local organizations to provide housing and transportation.