Governor Kim Reynolds and U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta have announced a $3 million Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) for Iowa, which will provide funding to create temporary employment opportunities to assist with flood clean-up and recovery efforts. These grants are awarded to areas impacted by the disaster that have been declared eligible for public assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The bulk of the funding will be used to pay wages to the temporary workers.
“Having an integrated and regional long-term flood recovery plan that includes state, local, and federal coordination is crucial for moving forward,” said Gov. Reynolds. “I sincerely appreciate this administration’s timely response to severe flooding in Iowa and their willingness to provide temporarily displaced workers with a way to make ends meet. Iowans are resilient, strong, and determined to come back from this disaster stronger than ever.”
“This grant will allow dislocated Iowa workers to earn a pay check while engaged in activities that benefit community clean up efforts," said Director of Iowa Workforce Development Beth Townsend. "It is the proverbial win/win and we are grateful the US Department of Labor acted so quickly and awarded the full amount requested.”
On March 12, 2019, Iowa was hit with a major storm system described as a "bomb cyclone" which brought a deluge of rain and melting snow resulting in historic flooding. On March 21st, Governor Kim Reynolds submitted a formal request to President Donald Trump to approve an expedited Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Iowa. On Saturday, March 23, 2019, the President approved the major disaster declaration (DR-4421), which included 56 counties in Category A. Flood waters caused significant damage to numerous roads, bridges, public buildings, parks, homes, and local businesses.