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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan

Reuters - U.S. construction workers cheer stimulus dollars

… The 32-year-old father of four from Mississippi is among hundreds of construction workers who are either keeping their jobs or finding new employment as the U.S. government's record $787 billion package to jump-start the economy is slowly disbursed.

'I was quite thrilled and very shocked,' Fort said with a chuckle. 'There was nothing lined up, so there was a big possibility that I could have been laid off.' … 'We were getting ready to lay off about two dozen people on a project in Mississippi and as a result of having picked up one of the stimulus projects in Louisiana, we offered them all jobs,' said Jim Andoga, the company's president.

Contractors, companies and unions agree the massive stimulus package, criticized by some as mortgaging the country's future, was behind signs of improvement in the sector. The industry was allocated about $140 billion in federal dollars, mostly for work on highways and dams. Not only are hourly laborers getting a respite, but the improved economic tone is also benefiting white collar professionals, such as engineers and project managers.

'Early reports indicate that the infrastructure piece of the stimulus is beginning to do exactly what was intended, to put construction workers back on the job,' said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America in Arlington, Virginia. [6/2/09]

Statesman-Journal (Oregon) - Marion among Oregon counties getting job-creation stimulus money

Marion and other Oregon counties will share $35 million in federal stimulus funding meant to put people to work maintaining forest roads and restoring vital watersheds and floodplains.

More than $3 million will go to protect against flooding in Marion and Yamhill counties. About $25 million will go to road-maintenance projects that will create jobs in 26 Oregon counties: Baker, Clackamas, Coos, Curry, Crook, Harney, Deschutes, Douglas, Grant, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Morrow, Multnomah, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Wheeler counties. About $7 million will go to watershed projects, including restoration of the Oregon Sand Dunes, improvement of the coho salmon habitat in Lane County and restoration of forest fisheries in Douglas County.

'This economic recovery funding is about jobs, jobs, jobs,' said Wyden, D-Ore. 'Here we are creating much-needed jobs in some of Oregon's hardest-hit counties, jobs that will result in healthier forests and improved water quality.' [6/03/09]

WIBC Radio (Indiana) - Ag Secretary Announces $11M for Hoosier Flood Protection

The first stop in Terre Haute came with the announcement of $3.3 million for the Honeycreek Watershed project and another $8.1 million to invest in floodplain easements in eight other Indiana counties.

The $11.4 million is a part of a national program through the Department of Agriculture funded by President Obama's stimulus package. Vilsack says Indiana stands to receive a total of $2 billion in stimulus money from the various federal agencies, saving over 75,000 jobs. [6/3/09]

The Providence Journal (Rhode Island) - Stimulus Money to Provide 821 Summer Jobs

Mayor David N. Cicilline said Monday that $1.9 million in federal stimulus money will be used to expand job opportunities for youths at 30 local agencies and a handful of municipal departments.

Exactly 821 summer jobs will be created with money received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to the mayor. The work opportunities will have the double benefit of bolstering community organizations and exposing young people to new skills, potential career paths, and a better understanding of the community around them, he said.

The amount represents about half the money that Rhode Island will be getting under the federal youth summer jobs initiative. All told, the federal stimulus plan calls for $4 million to be funneled to the state to create about 1,700 summer jobs. [6/3/09]

Georgetown Record (Massachusetts) - State announces $3.42 million for job training, support services for Merrimack Valley

Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Suzanne M. Bump announced on May 27 more than $3.42 million in federal recovery funds to make immediate investments in job training and support services for dislocated workers, low-income youths and adults in the Merrimack Valley.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding will go to the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board for the one-stop career centers in Haverhill and Lawrence. The board and the centers serve both employers and job-seekers in communities in the Merrimack Valley. These resources are a portion of the $67 million recently announced statewide, and will assist all of the 37 One-Stop Career Centers throughout Massachusetts.

These funds will help put people back to work, and give unemployed citizens the support and services they need to rejoin the workforce,” said Patrick….“Workforce training dollars will go a long way to help unemployed workers prepare for the jobs that Massachusetts has to offer,” said Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray.“We are grateful for the stimulus funding and are committed to using it to help as many people as possible.”

The ARRA funding provides $21.2 million to serve dislocated workers and more than $10 million to help low-income adults find work. With these new resources, more people will be able to enroll in training for high demand jobs in careers such as healthcare. [6/1/09]

San Diego Union-Tribune - Jobs group awarded $24 million grant

One of the region's biggest recipients of federal economic stimulus money is a City Heights-based job training agency, which is pumping millions into funding summer jobs for more than 3,000 local youths.

The nonprofit San Diego Workforce Partnership, which was found by a 2007 audit to have mismanaged federal grants, has been awarded nearly $24 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The 35-year-old agency plans to spend $13.3 million on employment and training programs for out-of-work adults and $10.5 million on similar support services for low-income youths.

A big chunk of the stimulus money, nearly $8 million, will go toward reviving a dormant youth-employment program, called Hire-A-Youth. The program will provide summer jobs to 3,200 people ages 14 to 24, who meet income and other eligibility criteria. Mayor Jerry Sanders and other dignitaries will hold a press conference to announce the program today. Much of the stimulus money will flow from the Workforce Partnership to scores of community organizations, community colleges and universities, which are being contracted by the agency to design and run programs. [6/2/09]