Gov. Jay Nixon visited Joplin today to announce an initial $5.8 million investment to establish the Missouri Disaster Recovery Jobs Program, which will create temporary jobs for workers who were left unemployed by last week's devastating tornado.
The program, which will be funded through the federal Workforce Investment Act, will employ more than 400 workers in temporary jobs to assist with clean-up and humanitarian efforts in Jasper and Newton counties. Under the program, the first priority will be to employ workers who lost their job because of the tornado. Second priority will go to workers who are unemployed for other reasons.
"As I've said from the beginning, we will rebuild Joplin," Gov. Nixon said. "And putting folks back to work is a vital part of that process. This investment will employ more than 400 workers who have temporarily lost their jobs because of the tornado, and it will give us additional manpower to augment the efforts of the National Guard and expedite the clean-up process. If folks are looking for work, I urge them to contact the Joplin Career Center today to learn more about this opportunity."
The jobs created under this program will focus on clean-up and humanitarian efforts, such as clearing and removing debris. Gov. Nixon has designated the Missouri National Guard as the state's point agency on debris removal and clearance, so the Division of Workforce Development and the Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri are coordinating closely with the Guard on job opportunities and placement.
The program will provide job and safety training and equipment for each worker, in addition to vaccinations or other preventive medical procedures necessary to work in the disaster area. Wages will be commensurate with individual workers' job requirements and skills.
The Division of Workforce Development and the Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri are overseeing the application, recruitment and placement process through the Joplin Career Center.
Missourians who are interested in a temporary clean-up or humanitarian job should visit the Joplin Career Center at 730 S. Wall Ave., Joplin (across from Memorial Hall), or call 417-629-3000. Missourians also can learn more about the program at The Bridge, 3405 Hammons Blvd., Joplin, MO.
Gov. Nixon was joined at this announcement today by David Kerr, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development; Jasen Jones, executive director of the Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri; and Col. William Ward, the commander of the Missouri National Guard's Task Force Phoenix, which is leading debris clearance and removal for the state of Missouri.