Local News

Stimulus money to promote job creation in Edgecombe County

Posted February 24, 2010 7:24 p.m. EST
Updated February 24, 2010 8:07 p.m. EST

— The Federal Reserve predicts the unemployment rate nationwide will stay between 9.5 and 9.7 percent through 2010. In Edgecombe County, the jobless rate is even higher. Between November and December, 16.7 percent of the county’s residents were out of work. However, there is hope on the horizon in the form of a $383,000 federal stimulus grant.

“That's critical for Edgecombe County,” said Marva Scott, the director of the county’s Department of Social Services.

The money will be used to pay area companies to hire new people.

“One-hundred percent of the salary, the employer does not have to pay anything. Our subsidy dollars will cover the total salary for that position,” Scott explained.

The jobs will be full-time positions with salaries comparable to existing company employees, Scott said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Edgecombe County. It gives us an opportunity to build our community,” she said.

County resident Natassia Washington learned about the grant Wednesday while attending a free job training workshop at DSS.

“It’s the best skills I've ever learned,” Washington said of the session.

“Due to the economy, I lost my job last year and my husband is disabled. He's not able to work,” county resident Michelle Kennedy said.

Kennedy, who also attended the training session, said she hopes more companies will be hiring now that the stimulus money is available.

“So that I may have a job pretty soon,” she said.

The first round of stimulus money will help create around 100 jobs between now and September, Scott said. If the program is successful, county officials hope to renew another year's worth of funding for Edgecombe County in the fall.