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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Reuters - Pace picks up for U.S. stimulus infrastructure jobs
Capital works projects funded by the U.S. economic stimulus plan created or saved more than 21,000 jobs by the end of May, according to a report released Tuesday by a House of Representatives committee, showing that the pace of stimulus job creation has quickened.

President Barack Obama pushed to dedicate $38 billion in the $787 billion plan to capital projects that could be started immediately, in the hopes of allaying painfully high unemployment levels in construction and related work.

A few states, such as Arkansas and Florida, have already completed stimulus projects. But those capital works represent a small handful when compared to those that have been put out to bid, put under contract, or begun -- 7,790. [Read More]

The Star-Ledger (New Jersey) - Construction along Route 80 will begin Wednesday, with help from federal stimulus money
As part of a host of shovel-ready projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the state Department of Transportation on Wednesday will begin resurfacing about eight miles of Route 80 westbound, from east of South Beverwyck Road to west of Route 23 in Essex, Morris and Passaic counties, state officials announced today.

Construction is intended to extend the life of the highway, improve safety and eliminate cracks, potholes and ruts, state officials said.

The $9.9 million project, which is being funded under the federal stimulus plan, is expected to create approximately 90 jobs, state officials said. [Read More]

Los Angeles Times (California) - When even fast-food restaurants aren't hiring, unemployed teens finding summer stimulus jobs
You know the economy's bad when teens can't get summer jobs at fast-food restaurants or movie theaters.

So thousands are picking up shovels, brooms and trash in part-time jobs paid for with federal stimulus money, which includes $1.2 billion for youth employment.

'I was looking for jobs everywhere, and no one was calling back,' said 17-year-old Ryan Stewart of Littleton, Colo., who applied at McDonald's, Wendy's and other restaurants but heard nothing back. Now he's spending the summer pulling weeds for $7.50 an hour at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge just outside Denver.

To qualify, workers have to be 14 to 24 years old. They're the part-timers who are often the first chucked from jobs when recession hits. Last month, the national unemployment rate was 9.4 percent. For teenagers, the rate was more than twice that, 22.7 percent.

Without the stimulus money, job placement officers say, many young people would be left jobless this summer even as they're being asked to pick up more of the family tab. Out-of-work parents often ask teens to earn their own spending money or help with back-to-school clothes and college costs. Sometimes, the parents themselves are looking for part-time work to make ends meet. [Read More]

KTVA-11 (Alaska) - Alaska stabilization funds approved
Alaska's application for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education. The stabilization fund is one piece of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly called the stimulus act.

Alaska will receive $113.7 million in stabilization funds. Of that, $93 million will be passed on to school districts. The other $20.7 million, which may be used for any government function, will be shared among Alaska's communities.

Alaska already has received some stimulus funds. In April, Alaska received $15 million in Title I funding and $18 million in funding for children with disabilities, representing half of Alaska's allotment for those types of stimulus funds. In all, Alaska expects to receive approximately $170 million in stimulus funds for K-12 education. [Read More]

Palladium-Item (Indiana) - Federal stimulus money to aid Wayne Co. road projects
Two state road projects planned in Wayne County will be the first to be funded by federal stimulus monies.

Those projects include an overlay of asphalt to be applied to Ind. 227 from the CSX Railroad to U.S. 27 and an asphalt overlay for U.S. 27 from 1.12 miles north of Interstate 70 at the east fork of the Whitewater River to 5.71 miles north of I-70 at Fountain City.

The Indiana Department of Transportation on Tuesday announced 48 state and eight local projects valued at nearly $71 million in 34 counties. Bids will be let Wednesday on those projects, including the two in Wayne County.

As of Wednesday, Indiana will have advertised for or awarded an estimated $307 million for state projects and $9.2 million for Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Local Project Agencies to be funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. [Read More]

The Oklahoman - Edmond's new transit system starts July 1
Last minute action by the Edmond City Council this week makes way for the start of the city's new bus service to begin July 1.

Two 36-seat buses will be leased from CoachCrafters Inc. for $3,500 a month for the Edmond Express route that will make 12 roundtrips daily to downtown Oklahoma City and the state Capitol area.
Drivers have been hired and are in training this week. A manager and office manager also have been hired.

The money is American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that have been allocated to the region from the Federal Transit Administration. The parking authority received the region's $10 million allocation and has agreed to grant Edmond's request for $600,000. [Read More]

Appeal-Democrat (California) - Stimulus funds on the job
The activities program at Marysville Care Center has Christine Dunn, 19, working at a far quicker pace than she ever would have imagined before she started her summer job five weeks ago.

Dunn, a sophomore at Yuba College, says she is grateful finally to get a chance to work.

She was hired at the nursing home via Yuba County One Stop, with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The $1.2 billion program approved by Congress in February provides short-term work training and employment for disadvantaged 14- to 24-year-olds.

Yuba County's share was $465,000 -- enough to pay up to 200 young employees a minimum wage salary for the summer, and transportation vouchers for those who need it. [Read More]

The Pantagraph (Illinois) - State pulls in $2B in stimulus
Although it won't pull Illinois out of its financial quagmire, the state has received nearly $2 billion in federal stimulus money through mid-June.

That amount is about on pace with earlier projections, but represents less than half of what the state is expected to receive in the coming months.

The figure is part of a recent state accounting of federal dollars received through June 15 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal program designed to help pull the economy out of the doldrums. [Read More]

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