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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

USA Today - Building slump stretches stimulus money
The stimulus law President Obama signed in February was slated to pour billions of dollars into thousands of building projects across the country, perhaps the best-known part of a $787 billion plan to create jobs and revive the economy. As that work began this summer, the state and federal officials in charge of paying for it say a dramatic slump in the construction industry brought bargain prices.

Now they're launching hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of additional projects to use the extra money. 'That gives us the ability to create more jobs through even more projects,' says Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez.

Pennsylvania launched an extra 52 road and bridge projects this summer because its original list of stimulus projects cost 10% less, says Rich Kirkpatrick, a state Transportation spokesman. [Read More]

Washington Post - Stimulus Funds Are Schools' Stopgap
The largest-ever infusion of federal cash is flowing into public school classrooms this year in the form of new programs and thousands of restored jobs. The stimulus package -- $100 billion over two years -- comes with similarly sized expectations…

In Fairfax County, stimulus funding saved about 274 positions…  Prince William County averted more than 300 layoffs... [Read More]

The Oklahoman - Microloans to offer help to small U.S. businesses
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will funnel $50 million for loans and $24 million for technical assistance into the U.S. Small Business Administration's Microloan program to increase access to capital for small businesses.

With the additional resources, SBA is focused on adding new lenders and encouraging entrepreneurs to seek out SBA-backed microlenders to finance their businesses. [Read More]

Baltimore Sun (Maryland) - State launches into transportation projects with stimulus money
The $610 million in federal money allocated to Maryland transportation projects, which began trickling into the state's economy this spring, is now flowing steadily -- resurfacing roads, upgrading transit facilities and boosting demand for contractors from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore.

According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland's stimulus money is expected to support as many as 17,000 jobs in the state.

'The stimulus package is about to have significant impact on construction over the next six to nine months,' said economist Anirban Basu, chief executive of Sage Policy Group. [Read More]

The Tampa Tribune (Florida) - Port of Tampa gets $2.2 million grant
The Port of Tampa has been awarded a $2.2 million federal Economic Development Administration grant toward a $4.5 million pier reconstruction and bulkhead replacement project, the Department of Commerce announced Tuesday.

The award is funded through a $150 million EDA supplemental appropriation under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It is expected to result in maintaining 281 jobs, the Department of Commerce says in a written announcement. [Read More]

The Union Leader (New Hampshire) - Of 78 laid-off teachers, 52 now have jobs back
The [Manchester school] district has now recalled 52 of the 78 teachers it laid off in May, according to Human Resources Director Diane Lapointe. Another 17 teachers, she said, were offered positions but did not accept -- perhaps because they have already found work elsewhere.

Superintendent Tom Brennan said the recalls were possible because of the millions of dollars in federal stimulus money that have made their way to the district over the past few months. [Read More]

Charleston Daily Mail (West Virginia) - W.Va. showing some signs of recovery
… Simonton Windows announced on Aug. 3 that it is recalling 263 West Virginia workers who have been laid off since late 2008 and said it will hire 25 more people.

[Simonton President Mark] Savan said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provides a tax credit for purchasers of energy-efficient replacement windows and doors, has helped stimulate business.

And there are businesses that have been quietly holding their own. One example is Armstrong World Industries Inc.'s hardwood flooring plant in Beverly. The plant, formerly known as Bruce Hardwood Floors, makes products that are dependent on the housing market.

Beth Riley, Armstrong's vice president of corporate communication, said the plant has employed 700 people since the third quarter of 2008. 'Since that time, laid-off employees have been recalled to fill turnover vacancies and we've hired new employees - about 20 - when necessary to stay at the 700-employee total,' she said. [Read More]

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