Some unemployed in Scott County to get jobs helping with flood recovery

Sunday, June 12, 2011

BENTON, Mo. -- Some workers displaced by the severe weather this spring will soon have jobs -- which will also clean up the damage left behind.

The Missouri Disaster Recovery Jobs Program, coordinated by the Workforce Investment Board, has the funds to make that all happen. Scott County Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger and Emergency Management director Amber Scudder got to learn more about that at a meeting earlier this week.

"They're going to have some money to put people to work in municipalities and counties on infrastructures projects needed as a result of the flooding," Burger said.

The program is still in the planning stages, said Scott Sattler, manager of business and industry for the WIB and project coordinator for this grant program.

"The state of Missouri received grant money, and it is to help with public entities, such as cities and counties," he said. "So what we're doing is hiring people to help with debris removal -- anything that was damaged by the flood, tornado or storms that began in April."

Officials will work with Missouri Career Centers to fill the spots. While the jobs are targeted at those who were displaced due to their place of work being shut down, Sattler said the second priority will be long-term unemployed individuals.

"But they can only work 1,040 hours total in the program," Sattler said. "So that's about a six-month period."

The program, however, will go on longer than six months, just rotate out workers, he noted.

For municipalities that are interested in turning in infrastructure projects, Sattler said more planning meetings are set for next week. In Scott County, one is planned for 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Clinton Building.

"I think we've got plenty for them to do, and this will give us an opportunity to get our roadsides in order," Burger said.

On Thursday, Scott County put in a request for the scope of work on its infrastructure projects, as well as the equipment needed.

Burger listed those as pothole patching, limb and debris removal on county highways, placing of rip rap at culverts that were washed out and other flood-related issues.

They are also requesting equipment such as chainsaws, trucks, an on-site chipper, vests, safety goggles and the personnel that will be required to fill those duties.

Pertinent address:

Benton, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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