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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Atlanta Journal Constitution (Georgia) - Did the stimulus plan help Georgia? You bet

Last week…a platoon of Georgia officials broke ground for a brand-new vocational training center for Georgians who are deaf, blind or suffer other disabilities.

The new center will be constructed with funds from the…federal government program that has cut taxes, bought groceries and paid college tuition in households around the country for more than a year -- the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the “stimulus.”

The stimulus funds were “a Godsend, the money coming in the midst of a recession when state funds were being cut, to address this huge need we had,” [Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond] said.

It will generate some 200 construction jobs, according to John Farmer, a director of construction for the Beck Group, which won the state contract.

But the Recovery Act remains little appreciated among average voters. Few seem to know, for example, that nearly one-third of the $787 billion Recovery Act came in the form of tax cuts, which benefitted 95 percent of households. The tax cuts didn't go out as separate checks but took the form of slight increases in take-home pay, as the federal government withheld less. [10/13/10]

The Monitor (Texas) - IBWC awards final levee contracts days before deadline

[MEMBER MENTIONED: Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15)]

All federal funding to raise and repair roughly 240 miles of Rio Grande levees in Texas and New Mexico has been awarded.

The International Boundary and Water Commission -- a bi-national agency that oversees flood control and protection along the river -- has awarded $220 million in projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, accounting for all of the funds appropriated to the agency in the federal economic stimulus package.

The levee work has preserved or created nearly 600 jobs, a number expected to increase as levee construction continues to expand based on the contracts already awarded.

U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, said then that flooding in the Valley would have been more pronounced if the IBWC had not already begun work on the levees. [10/10/10]

The Business Journal of Milwaukee (Wisconsin) - Wisconsin awards energy funds to two firms

The state of Wisconsin is awarding $4.85 million in State Energy Program funding, including $3.75 million to a Germantown firm, to support business development projects that are expected to create and retain jobs, Gov. Jim Doyle said Tuesday.

TecStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of the MGS Manufacturing Group in Germantown, is a plastic injection molding manufacturer that is committing to the creation of 165 jobs at its plant as a result, nearly doubling its current employment of 170.

McCain Foods USA Inc., a subsidiary of McCain Foods Ltd. of Canada, is using a $1.1 million allocation to help the company buy $2.2 million in improved heat exchangers for various parts of the production line at its central Wisconsin plant in Plover… The project is expected to retain 650 jobs, according to Doyle.

Wisconsin received a total of $55 million for the State Energy Program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across the state, while creating jobs and reducing carbon pollution. [10/12/10]

The Morning Sun (Michigan) - Stimulus funded green programs

The firm's new subsidiary, Energetx Composites, manufactures wind turbines. With the help of a $3.5 million clean-energy grant from the Obama administration's economic stimulus package, Energetx has moved forward with plans for a new plant that will create 750 jobs over five years and up to 1,000 jobs when the facility reaches full production.

…At a time when Michigan's battered economy still struggles with a huge loss of auto industry jobs, the state received more than half of the Recovery Act's $1.35 billion commitment to advanced battery technology for autos, with the funds expected to generate 40,000 jobs by 2020.

A123, which manufactures battery cells and components for electric and hybrid vehicles, received $249 million in Recovery Act money to help start up the plant. Some 300 workers, mostly laid off auto workers, run the facility and the company's Michigan workforce is expected to grow substantially over the next year.

Another $15.5 million in Recovery Act funding for Michigan has assisted five fledgling wind and solar manufacturers, with the payoff expected to be 1,400 jobs by 2014. [10/9/10]

Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Minnesota) - Stimulus funds called lifesaver

[DISTRICTS MENTIONED: Keith Ellison (MN-5), R-Erik Paulsen (MN-3): Voted NO on Recovery Act, and R-Michele Bachmann (MN-6): Voted NO on Recovery Act]

The executive director [Patrick McFarland] of the Anoka County Community Action Program says the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's infusion of nearly $5.5 million locally over two years created jobs, prevented homelessness, subsidized home heating and more.

'We had less resources to deal with [the current recession],' he said. 'And then we had ARRA, and that ARRA is what's really saved us.' Stimulus funding made it possible for the Community Action Program to flex to the needs of this crisis, he said…

Through stimulus-funded programs, McFarland said, the agency created about 110 jobs, largely in construction and human services. [10/12/10]

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