Six Coastal Counties To Receive $31.6 Million For Katrina Recovery

Six south Mississippi counties will share in $31.6 million of federal grant money, Senators Trent Lott and Thad Chochran announced Wednesday.

This particular grant includes worker retraining as well as initiatives designed to assist local governments charged with hiring employees to assist with clean-up and other recovery tasks.

The Department of Labor estimates the award could impact up to 10,000 workers throughout Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone and George counties.

This is the second installment of a grant first awarded last year, bringing the total of this package to more than $45 million.

"This money will be administered through the Mississippi Department of Employment Security to support ongoing initiatives aimed at helping hurricane victims find good jobs within Mississippi's lower six counties," Senator Lott said.

"Secretary Chao has demonstrated a great commitment to Mississippi's rebuilding effort, and I very much appreciate her cooperation with Mississippi's Congressional delegation in helping our state's hardest hit areas."

Since September 2005, the Department of Labor has directed $95 million to Mississippi in support of local projects related to recovery and rebuilding, specifically those with an employment component.

"The release of over $31 million from the Department of Labor represents a significant step in the continuing economic revival on the Gulf Coast," Senator Cochran said.

"This funding is essential in order to help workers on the Mississippi Coast continue to recover from the damage they suffered as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The economic stability of our entire state depends upon the steady reconstitution of the Gulf Coast workforce."