Feds send earthquake disaster relief: $4.5 million to Labor Department



The U.S. Department of Labor awarded up to $4.5 million in disaster funding to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development for temporary jobs to assist with cleanup, repair and reconstruction of public structures and facilities damaged by the Nov. 30 earthquake in Southcentral Alaska.

Disaster Dislocated Worker funds are discretionary grants the U.S. Secretary of Labor awards under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

The money will provide temporary jobs in cleanup, recovery and humanitarian efforts. Additionally, funds may be used to provide training and support services to workers who lost their jobs due to the disaster.

“It is critical that we focus on rebuilding our public infrastructure,” said Labor Commissioner Dr. Tamika Ledbetter. “This funding supports our commitment to invest in employment opportunities for rebuilding our public facilities, roads and schools, and provides opportunities for workers to gain transferrable skills, making it possible to move into permanent, self-sustaining employment. These efforts support our community as they recover and become even better prepared for the future.”

The department will coordinate grant funds with local staffing agencies and contractors to employ temporary workers for cleanup and repair at public and private nonprofit facilities. Due to extreme temperatures in winter, cleanup and restoration will likely be significantly higher in the spring and summer as weather permits.

If you have lost a job due to the earthquake, contact the Midtown Job Center at (907) 269-4759 or the Mat-Su Job Center at (907) 352-2500.

The job centers provide diverse assistance including enhanced career services, support services, work-based learning opportunities, training that leads to industry recognized credentials and direct employment referrals.