TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Recognizing the monumental effort that debris removal will be in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis is urging all companies who support debris removal, including those involved in debris hauling, monitoring and solid-waste management, to hire displaced and employment-seeking Floridians, locally. Many Floridians in Southwest Florida have had their businesses and livelihoods impacted by the storm and are looking for work – the private sector can help them get back on their feet by hiring locally for the length of recovery, which will support the local economy for at least the next six months.
Governor DeSantis also highlighted workforce recovery resources that have been made available to help Floridians whose jobs and businesses were impacted by Hurricane Ian through both CareerSource Florida and The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). Available resources in impacted areas include:
- Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Waiver of Work Search Requirements
- Mobile CareerSource Centers across the impacted areas, including at Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs)
- Business Damage Assessment Survey
- Disaster Recovery Jobs Portal
Florida has also applied for the Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grant Program. More details will become available as soon as the federal government approves the application. View a list of available resources at floridajobs.org/ianrecovery.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
DEO has made Disaster Unemployment Assistance available to Florida businesses and residents in FEMA disaster-declared counties. Additionally, DEO has temporarily waived requirements for work search reporting, Employ Florida registration and the waiting week for benefits to expedite relief to Floridians who lost jobs due to Hurricane Ian.
Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
Governor DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, administered by DEO, making $50 million available to help businesses repair and reopen. At least $10 million of the loan program is dedicated to helping agricultural businesses that have been impacted by Hurricane Ian.
Through October 6, 1,881 businesses have already responded to the Business Damage Assessment Survey, and DEO had received 331 completed applications for Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans.
The CareerSource Florida network has deployed mobile career centers from across the state to storm-affected areas to assist Floridians with employment and business services. These mobile units, directed by local workforce development board and DEO teams, have computers, internet service and skilled staff to help people apply for disaster recovery programs and grants as well as new employment opportunities. Mobile units are currently supporting CareerSource Flagler Volusia’s operations and CareerSource Southwest Florida has a mobile unit in the Walmart parking lot on Tamiami Trail East in Naples. Others will be online shortly where needed. Find your nearest career center at careersourceflorida.com/career-services/your-local-team.
Dislocated Worker Grant Program – Pending Federal Approval
Florida has also applied for the U.S. Department of Labor Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant program. This grant, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), primarily provides disaster relief employment in the form of temporary jobs to Floridians who were impacted by Hurricane Ian.
Disaster relief employment includes cleanup activities and humanitarian assistance. These activities may involve:
- Restoration and repair of public buildings and lands, including tree removal, stump grinding, beach cleanup, replanting, traffic sign replacement and sidewalk repair;
- Debris removal and repairs to homes owned by low-income individuals to remove and mitigate damage that impacts the homes’ safety;
- Humanitarian assistance, including staffing of food banks, distribution centers and agencies providing clothing and other supplies;
- Assisting individuals affected by the storm with accessing resources; or
- Assisting businesses access resources.
Individuals who qualify for disaster relief employment are workers who are temporarily or permanently laid off as a consequence of the disaster, dislocated workers, self-employed individuals who became unemployed or lost work due to the disaster, and individuals who have been unemployed long-term.
Disaster relief employment will be coordinated through CareerSource Florida network career centers in affected areas. Visit careersourceflorida.com/disaster-recovery for a mobile-friendly list of recovery programs and careersourceflorida.com/career-services/your-local-team to receive in-person assistance at your local career center.
To look for employment opportunities to help rebuild Florida’s communities impacted by Hurricane Ian or to post disaster-related jobs where a labor force is needed, visit Florida’s Disaster Recovery Jobs Portal at disasterrecovery.employflorida.com.
For information regarding Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grants, Floridians should contact their local career center. To find a local career center, visit careersourceflorida.com/your-local-team.
DEO has activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey. Businesses that were affected by Hurricane Ian can complete a damage assessment survey by visiting floridadisaster.biz/BusinessDamageAssessments and selecting “Hurricane Ian.”
ABOUT CAREERSOURCE FLORIDA
CareerSource Florida, with its business-led board of directors, provides policy direction for talent development programs administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida’s 24 local workforce development boards and their 100 career centers. The CareerSource Florida State Board serves as the Governor’s principal workforce policy and investment board, working in partnership with DEO, which is responsible for the state workforce system’s fiscal and administrative affairs, and local workforce development boards that serve Florida’s businesses and career seekers. Together, the CareerSource Florida network connects employers with qualified, skilled talent and Floridians with employment and career development opportunities to achieve economic prosperity. Learn more at careersourceflorida.com.