The U.S. Department of Labor announced a total of $27 million in National Emergency Grant awards to four key states to assist workers along the Gulf Coast who have been displaced as a result of the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to a DOL press release. The states are Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.
The funds are being granted to workforce agencies in the four states experiencing economic hardship as a result of wage decline and job loss in the shrimping, fishing, hospitality and tourism industries. Alabama and Mississippi each will receive $5 million. Florida will receive $7 million, and Louisiana will receive $10 million.
The resources are being provided to the states to increase their capacity to help workers now while they seek reimbursement from BP for the costs associated with retraining and re-employment assistance. Services funded by the grant money may include skills assessment, basic skills training, individual career counseling and occupational skills training.