LUMBERTON — Grant money that helps victims of Hurricane Matthew find temporary employment is still available through the Lumber River Council of Governments.
The Disaster Relief Employment Grant provides temporary jobs for dislocated unemployed and those who have been unemployed for 13 weeks or longer, according to Kammala Brayboy, the National Dislocated Worker Grant Program coordinator for the Council of Governments.
“The grant received in November after the hurricane was for $2 million, but we can receive up to $8 million if we still have needs after the $2 million has been awarded,” Brayboy said.
There are about 150 participants in the program that provides temporary jobs in areas related to disaster recovery, said Brayboy. Jobs are being provided in areas such as humanitarian aid, general labor, clerical and administration. There are currently 34 employers in Robeson, Hoke, Bladen and Columbus counties that are offering temporary jobs through the program.
Brayboy said that each of the participants receives a job that will last for 12 months, 2,080 hours, or until they earn $24,000. The pay for participants is consistent with what the companies would pay anyone hired to perform the same work.
“This has been a great program for helping those displaced by Matthew find employment and gain independence,” said Brayboy. “Our goal is for these jobs not to serve just as temporary employment, but to turn into permanent employment.”
In addition to those seeking jobs, Brayboy said employers are being sought who can provide jobs to program participants.
“These can be public or nonprofit agencies and organizations, but the positions offered must be disaster-relief related,” said Brayboy.
Anyone interested can apply at the Lumber River Council of Governments office, located in COMtech business park just outside Pembroke, or at the N.C. Works Career Center at 289 Corporate Drive, Suite B, in Lumberton. For information about the grant program, call Brayboy at 910-775-9765.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.