While unemployment for the entire region is at its lowest level in two decades, there are still areas where changes in forest management practices have impacted many people and the communities they call home. The President recognized that these impacts would occur, and thatís why the Economic Adjustment Initiative is aimed at providing both immediate and long-term relief for these people, businesses and communities.
The Initiative provides the funds needed for developing much-needed infrastructure in impacted communities, providing technical and financial assistance to rural businesses, creating new jobs through restoring the regionís forested watersheds, and job training and retraining opportunities for dislocated workers.
So far, in just this year, the Initiative has distributed more than $92 million in grants and loans; millions more will reach the region before the year ends. That builds on last yearís success, which saw more than $126 million assist more than 100 communities.
Assistance to Workers and Families
Example: $8.2 million awarded to Washington to retrain more than 1,700 dislocated timber workers.
Assistance to Business and Industry
Example: $7 million awarded in grants and loans to stimulate business growth and economic development in rural communities in Washington, Oregon and California.
Assistance to Communities
Example: Nearly $65 million awarded in grants and loans to help rural communities in Oregon, Washington, and California plan and build water systems, waste treatment facilities and other community infrastructure improvements.
Example: $37 million will be distributed this season to fund hundreds of watershed and ecosystem restoration projects in Oregon, Washington and California, restoring the environment and providing jobs.
Each state has one CERT whose membership is individually tailored to deal with the needs of workers, families, businesses and communities in their state. To eliminate red tape, the CERTs are working to streamline government and overcome bureaucratic barriers. So far this year, 22 barriers had been identified with 15 of them already removed. Last year, 25 barriers were removed.
Economic Adjustment Initiative
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