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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Florida Today - Officials: Federal stimulus cash working in Florida
Florida's approximately $15 billion, three-year take of federal stimulus spending is already starting to pay off, agency heads told Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday.

'We've had great success in the rollout in these funds,' said Education Commissioner Eric Smith. 'One of the things it's done is stabilize our workforce.'

Although school districts across the state are blaming the recession for waves of layoffs, Smith said the stimulus dollars have helped preserve 26,000 jobs in Florida's sprawling K-12 system.

Of the jobs preserved, 18,200 were teaching positions, including 6,200 special education teachers, Smith said.

Another 2,700 jobs in K-12 were created, Smith said. [Read More]

Philadelphia Inquirer (Pennsylvania) - Work on stimulus-funded projects begins
Crews starting the three-year, $69 million project to repave and rebuild I-295 in Camden and Gloucester Counties represent the first local trickle in what is supposed to be a flood of highway jobs and money from Washington to hard-pressed states and towns.

An average of about 120 workers will be employed daily on the I-295 job, said Rob Baccala, vice president of Richard E. Pierson Construction Co. of Woodstown, one of the general contractors for the project.

That will include workers such as carpenters, ironworkers, laborers, and operating engineers, as well as truck drivers and those making asphalt and concrete.

Based on a Federal Highway Administration estimate that 35,000 jobs are supported by every $1.25 billion invested in transportation projects, the I-295 project will create about 1,932 jobs in the broader economy.

'We really need this bad,' said Richard Sweeney, business representative and financial secretary for Ironworkers Local 399 in Gloucester County. 'Work is really bad now.' [Read More]

Burlington Free Press (Vermont) - Barre wind company receives federal funds
A Barre wind energy project will receive more than $680,000 in federal recovery funds.

Northern Power Systems was one of 28 wind energy projects in the nation to win a portion of the $13.8 million in Department of Energy funding.

Northern Power builds large wind turbines in its 80,000-square-foot facility at the former Bombardier railcar plant in Barre Town. The company said in May that it hoped to employ 150 people this year and more in 2010.

'These funds will create good jobs in Vermont and further enhance the state's leadership in developing renewable energy resources,' Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said in a statement. [Read More]

WDAF-TV (Kansas) - Salina airport project putting federal stimulus dollars to work
Construction is under way at the Salina airport on improvements funded partly with federal stimulus money.

Funds exceeding $830,000 were awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration.
Airport Authority executive director Tim Rogers says expects the construction project to create at least 850 aviation and aerospace jobs with an annual payroll of more than $21 million. [Read More]

Bangor Daily News (Maine) - $1.3M given to improve two ferry terminals
The award of the federal stimulus funds to the Maine Department of Transportation was announced Tuesday by Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine.

“Ferry services provide a vital link to Maine's many island communities,” Michaud said in making the announcement. “This funding will promote safety by improving the dock infrastructure. Investments like these will make a real difference for the users and operators of this ferry service.” [Read More]

Stevens Point Journal (Wisconsin) - District hopes to stimulate reading
Stevens Point Area Public School District administrators hope to use $605,000 in federal stimulus money to improve reading skills at the elementary level.

The district received the money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Currently, all elementary schools have 1.8 full-time equivalent teaching positions for literacy coaches, [Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services Art Reinhardt said]. Under Title IA funding, the administration suggested the five Title IA schools would get an additional 2.5 FTE teachers.

'(Stimulus funds) will help stimulate the economy, but it will also do some good things for kids,' he said. [Read More]

The Greenville News (South Carolina) - Federal grant to fund transportation jobs
The $277,546 grant will go to the S.C. Department of Transportation's Transportation Careers Training Program.
It will be used to provide 35 unemployed, underemployed, females and minorities with job readiness skills, as well as an opportunity to receive their commercial driver's license and certification in heavy equipment operation, the agency said.

The money is part of $6.7 million in job training grants awarded to 14 states from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). [Read More]

Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee) - Tax breaks push green residential fixups
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, homeowners are eligible to receive a tax credit of up to 30 percent of costs from installing energy-efficient windows or adding insulation.

The tax credits are available for individuals for improvements such as energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems and is just one of several incentives made available through the stimulus package. [Read More]

Las Cruces Sun-News (New Mexico) - Groundbreaking marks beginning of runway rehabilitation
The improvements are expected to take nine months to complete and will cost $11.37 million, which includes more than $9 million in materials and labor, and about $2 million in engineering design and inspection by the FAA.

The money for improvements will come from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding awarded to the city. Mike Saupp, an FAA representative, said had the city not received a large amount of economic stimulus funding, the project would have had to be done in phases and could have taken years to finish. [Read More]

Sacramento Bee (California) - Fear strikes jobless who lose health benefits
… Many Californians are deep in worry, trying to figure out how to keep themselves and their families covered.

Experts and officials alike want to help - and they want to trumpet the recent arrival of federal help with handling the hefty price tag of post-employment health coverage.

To provide some relief, ARRA - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which went into effect in late February as part of the federal stimulus plan - pays for 65 percent of COBRA premiums for people who've lost their jobs from Sept. 1, 2008, through the end of this year. The subsidy will help pay for nine months of COBRA coverage for eligible recipients. [Read More]

The Courier News (Illinois) - Stimulus dollars restoring prairie and youth's lives
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dished out $2.1 million toward the 18-month youth job program, which gave 375 businesses the opportunity to recruit about 450 local teens [who are low-income and homeless for example] to take on positions ranging from office assistants to engineering assistants. [Read More]

The Kansas City Star (Missouri) - Missouri, Kansas to get millions to encourage the buying of energy-efficient appliances
Missouri is to get up to $5.7 million and Kansas up to $2.7 million as part of the $300 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program.

As part of the program, the states agree to provide rebates only for appliances that meet Energy Star specifications for energy efficiency. [Read More]

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