Monday, May 18, 2009
Governor Announces Oregon Emergency Jobs Program
On May 15th, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski announced the creation of an Emergency Jobs Program to help unemployed Oregonians. In his address to the City Club of Portland, he stated that this initiative would put at least 12,000 unemployed persons back to work starting this summer. These jobs would be entry level in the public sector paying a salary of $8.40 - $10.00 per hour. At the minimum salary, a person would earn $336 per week as compared to the current average unemployment weekly payment of $250.
The plan requires legislative approval for a one-time redirection of approximately $90 million in future payments to the state's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. We anticipate that $54 million will run through the public workforce system with an estimated $18 million coming to the City of Portland, Multnomah and Washington Counties.
The jobs are temporary and designed to help unemployed Oregonians weather the storm for the next 6 months. The kinds of jobs that will be created under the Governor's plan include the restoration of wetlands, construction of park trails, improving watersheds, removing brush from fire-prone forests, and delivering food to families in need. The program is set to begin in July.
The Governor has asked Worksystems and our Local Workforce Investment Board to play a pivotal role in leading this effort in the Portland Metro Area by taking on the administration and approving projects in this region. We are proud to have the confidence of the Governor and will work to ensure the success of this initiative.