The U.S. Department of Labor announced a $10 million National Emergency Grant award to create temporary jobs for eligible individuals to assist with cleanup and recovery efforts resulting from the severe storms and tornadoes that ravaged a five-county area of Oklahoma between May 18 and May 20. These storms resulted in widespread damage across the state during this same period. The funds are being awarded to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.
"The Oklahoma storms have left human tragedy and economic devastation in their wake," said acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris. "The department is stepping up to make a contribution to this urgent recovery effort, as Oklahomans rebuild their homes, their businesses and their lives. With $10 million in National Emergency Grant money, we are able to assist not only with cleanup, but to put people to work as well."
On May 20, the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared five Oklahoma counties eligible for FEMA's Public Assistance Program, following the severe storms and tornadoes. This grant will target each of these counties: Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie. Additional counties may be included at a later date. More information on designated disaster areas in Oklahoma is available from FEMA at http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4117/designated-areas.
Of the $10 million announced, $5 million will be released initially. Additional funding, up to the amount approved, will be made available as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance.
National Emergency Grants are part of the secretary of labor's discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit http://www.doleta.gov/NEG/.