WASHINGTON – More than two years after wildfires swept across parts of western Oregon during one of the state’s most destructive wildfire seasons, the U.S. Department of Labor continues to support the area’s recovery with an incremental award of $4.5 million to provide disaster-relief jobs, employment, training and supportive services in 20 western counties.
The department’s Employment and Training Administration, which awards the emergency National Dislocated Worker Grant, initially released $6.5 million to provide temporary employment for people to assist with clean-up and recovery in 2020. With today’s announcement, the department has awarded $11 million for the project.
This award will enable the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission to deliver employment and training services and provide disaster recovery jobs for people in Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington and Yamhill counties.
Eleven people in the region died in the fires that burned more than one million acres of land and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. In September 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a major disaster declaration for the state, which made Oregon eligible to request the funding.
Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Dislocated Worker Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses.