Grant will pay storm victims for working in cleanup effort

05/19/2007 1:01 AM

01/24/2008 5:15 PM

Residents whose livelihoods were interrupted by the May 4 tornado can be paid for working in the cleanup effort under a $20 million federal grant announced Thursday.

The Kansas Department of Commerce applied to the U.S. Labor Department last week for the National Emergency Grant.

Intended chiefly to provide Greensburg residents some income while they rebuild the town, the grant also can be used to train people for new careers.

"This is very good news for Greensburg, because it will allow workers who lost their jobs as a result of the storm to earn income while helping their community recover," Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said.

Employment and training services will be delivered by the local work force investment board. Applications for work are being accepted at Barclay College in nearby Haviland.

According to the Labor Department, grant funds can be used to provide an "employment bridge" for workers awaiting reopening and rebuilding of their workplaces, and to retrain those whose employers might never reopen.

The grant also will pay for tools, safety equipment and other resources needed to rebuild the town.

The tornado killed 10 people in Greensburg, where hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed.

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