Agriculture

$18 million in grant funding for California workers jobless from drought

The Department of Labor announced Monday that up to $18 million in grant funding will go to California to provide work for the 18,000 people estimated to have lost jobs because of the drought, with $3 million released initially.

“For so many in California’s growing regions, water has been their livelihood for generations,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said in a released statement. “For those whose ability to provide for their families is most immediately affected by the drought, this funding will provide much-needed temporary employment.”

Up to 1,000 workers will be employed for up to six months to remove dead foliage to prevent fires and mudslides, and to renovate and repair public facilities damaged by the drought. The grant also supports youth in households affected by the drought and the long-term unemployed.

Funds will be deployed through the Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium, a workforce development board in Northern California, and through La Cooperativa Campesina de California, a convener of farm worker programs across the state.

Sarah Anderson: (559) 441-6248; @Sarahsonofander

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