Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) notified him this evening that it will release $16,571,738 to ASG for about 2,200 temporary workers to continue clean-up and recovery efforts in the wake of the tsunami that struck America Samoa on September 29, 2009.
On October 19, 2009 a National Emergency Grant (NEG) was approved for up to $24,857,608, with $8,285,870 released initially. This incremental and final NEG award will bring total NEG funds awarded for clean-up and recovery efforts to $24,857,608.
"I want to again thank my good friend and former colleague, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, for releasing more than $24 million in NEG funds to help create about 2,200 temporary jobs in American Samoa," Faleomavaega said. “I first contacted Secretary Solis in May of 2009 regarding NEG funds in response to Chicken of the Sea’s announced closure and, on May 7, 2009, I provided Governor Togiola with the contact information necessary to request assistance for our workers, noting that any request put forward must originate with the Governor.”
“While that effort was underway between ASG and DOL, American Samoa was struck by a tsunami on September 29, 2009. In response to the tsunami, DOL immediately and preemptively reached out to ASG and assisted ASG in preparing and processing a disaster national emergency grant application. On October 19, 2009, ASG was then awarded over $24 million to create about 2,200 temporary jobs for clean-up and recovery efforts.”
“Discussions continue about how this grant might be more fully expanded, if necessary. For now, the American Samoa Department of Human Resources is responsible for the administration of the grant and ASG, in consultation with the DOL, determines who qualifies for temporary work.”
“Again, I thank DOL for its swift response in providing temporary work for the people of American Samoa. The DOL can be assured that the people of American Samoa are appreciative of the support the federal government is providing them, especially as we work together to rebuild and retool,” Faleomavaega concluded.