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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Bloomberg - U.S. Economy: Leading Index, Factory Gauge Show Slump Easing
The index of U.S. leading economic indicators rose in May for a second consecutive month and a regional factory gauge climbed more than forecast in June, showing the worst recession in five decades may soon end.

The leading index increased 1.2 percent after a 1.1 percent gain in April, the best back-to-back performance since November- December 2001, the New York-based Conference Board reported today.

“The recession is losing steam,” Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board, said in a statement. “If these trends continue, expect a slow recovery beginning before the end of the year. However, employment will take longer to turn around.”
Some factory producers are preparing for better times. Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp., the largest U.S. steelmaker by sales, is recalling nearly 800 laid-off workers to restart coke production in the Canadian province of Ontario and a blast furnace in Illinois, union spokesmen Dave Dowling and Rolf Gerstenberger said in separate interviews this week.

 “The labor market remains weak but it's starting to stabilize,” said Maxwell Clarke, chief U.S. economist at IDEAglobal in New York. “An improvement in employment conditions and improvement in confidence go hand in hand with an improvement in consumer spending.” [Read More]

South Florida Business Journal - $70M in home weatherization funds to come to Florida
Florida will receive another $70 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help weatherize more than 19,000 homes in the state.

Florida is picking up 40 percent of its total weatherization funding Thursday following approval of a comprehensive state plan, according to federal officials. It adds to the initial 10 percent funding allocation previously awarded to Florida for training and ramp-up activities.

Once the state can prove that it can implement the full plan, Florida will receive another $87 million, bringing its total contribution to $175 million.

Overall, the federal government is awarding $453 million to 15 states, and in Florida would equate to about $3,700 per home on average. States will eventually spend an average of $6,500 to weatherize homes. [Read More]

Ohio Farmer - Rural Water Projects Get $123 Million from USDA
USDA has announced another round of rural development funding for small community water projects. This round includes $123 million in funding for projects in 24 states, and is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The latest round of funding provides money for 38 projects ranging from community water improvements to waste water treatment facilities.

The new projects could also create as many as 2,000 jobs.

The 24 states where projects are located include: Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. [Read More]

The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) - Stimulus helping to slash heating bills
About 32,000 Ohio homeowners, including 3,000 to 4,000 in Columbus, eventually will enjoy similar or greater savings once the state gets about $266 million in federal stimulus money to insulate homes across the state.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu traveled to Westbrook's home on E. 23rd Avenue yesterday to announce that Ohio had qualified for its second round of weatherization funding, about $106 million, which comes on top of about $27 million already in hand.

Chu said the program will help meet the nation's energy and environmental needs while the utility money saved 'is going directly back into the economy.' [Read More]

Belleville News-Democrat (Illinois) - Federal stimulus provides summer jobs for metro-east youths
Beginning Monday, 400 new summer jobs will be provided to young people in the metro-east as part of the federal economic stimulus plan.

The program is designed to provide jobs to youths between the ages of 14 and 24 who come from low-income households in St. Clair, Clinton, Monroe, Randolph and Washington counties.

[St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark] Kern said the program is funded by $1.7 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will provide a quality, paid work experience for youths who will contribute immediately to the local economy and improve their work readiness skills for future long-term employment through partnerships established with businesses, government and nonprofit agencies. [06/19/09]

RTTNews - Nebraska To Receive Over $16 Mln. In Stimulus Funds For Weatherization Programs
Nebraska will be awarded a total of $16,657,783 to weatherize 4,000 homes over the next three years. Weatherization enables families to reduce energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient.
On average, weatherization reduces heating bills by 32 percent and overall energy bills by $350 per year, according to the Energy Department.

Community action agencies and other non-profits tasked with weatherization activities will be able to use funds to hire and train a number of additional workers to handle the increased workload.

After demonstrating successful implementation of the weatherization projects, Nebraska will receive an additional $20.8 million, for a total of more than $41 million. [Read More] (West Virginia) Rockefeller, Byrd, Rahall Announce $15 Million for WV Home Weatherization
Senators Jay Rockefeller and Robert C. Byrd, together with Congressman Nick J. Rahall, today announced that the Department of Energy is awarding $15,033,550 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the weatherization of more than 3,500 homes in West Virginia.

“Everyone is struggling with rising energy costs, and West Virginians are no exception,” said Rahall. “The weatherization program supported by these Recovery Act funds means over 3,500 families in our communities can start saving on their electricity bills through simple home improvements to help lower energy consumption.”

West Virginia's weatherization process utilizes locally employed and trained weatherization crews to install in low-income homes energy efficiency and conservation measures prescribed by energy audits and diagnostic testing. [Read More]

Deseret News (Utah) - Utah gets $15M from stimulus plan
The Obama administration released on Thursday another $15 million from economic stimulus funds for weatherization assistance programs in Utah.

The $15 million amounts to 40 percent of what the stimulus package allowed for the program in Utah, and was released after approval of a comprehensive state plan for weatherization…After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, Utah may receive an additional $18 million -- for a total of more than $37 million.

Utah intends to use the money to help weatherize more than 4,400 homes to help save energy and money on heating and air conditioning. Priority will be given to the elderly, disabled and homes where preschool children may spend a majority of their time indoors. [Read More]

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