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Displaced Workers Finding Jobs Through Disaster Relief Employment Grants

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ROCKY MOUNT — It is bad enough that many people lost their homes to Floyd's flooding. Hundreds of businesses were also washed out and may never reopen, leaving lots of people without work.

During his visit, President Clinton promised jobs to workers laid off due to Floyd. That process started Monday.

Floyd hit the Hines family hard. Many of them lost their homes to flooding. Seven family members also lost their jobs at the Universal Leaf tobacco plant in Rocky Mount.

"I'd do anything, anything to get back on my feet," says flood victim William Hines.

The federal government has promised to help with jobs for up to six months. The Hines, and hundreds of others, are applying for jobs through the Hurricane Floyd Disaster Relief Employment Grant.

"They don't have time to wait. They need a job now so they can earn some money so that they can feed their families," says job coordinator Pauline Goodman.

Displaced workers are eligible for temporary jobs associated with the hurricane. Jobs like debris cleanup suit Bruce Colbert just fine.

"A lot of people lost everything. I didn't lose everything, but still, I don't have a job so it's hard on me too," he says.

Even in the counties that were not hardest hit, there are jobs to help in the relief effort.

Michael Allen has been unemployed since June. Tuesday, he will start working at a Cumberland County food bank.

"This is a blessing. I'm going to enjoy it because I like the work, and I like helping people," he says.

There are jobs available in all 66 North Carolina counties declared federal disaster areas.

For more information about jobs available through the Disaster Relief Employment Grant, call1-877-562-0001.

Many employers say it could be as early as January or as long as six months before their employees are back at their regular jobs.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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