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Governor DeSantis announces new Hurricane Michael recovery efforts

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 5:56 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - In October of 2018, Hurricane Michael struck our local communities, leaving many in desperate need of help. More than two years later, people are still trying to get back on their feet.

On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis made an appearance at the Bay County Government Center with some new ideas to help.

DeSantis is asking the Division of Emergency Management to waive all pending costs our local government made in response to the storm.

“This action will provide additional needed financial relief to impacted communities, providing an additional estimated $22 million dollars in assistance,” DeSantis said.

Along with the waiver, he announced the rollout of the Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program with the help of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The program provides funding to the local workforce development boards, education institutions, and technical institution centers to launch programs that address the increasing demand in the construction trades. $4.7 million is going to Chipola College and Tallahassee Community College for building construction technology and welding technology programs.

“Some of these people, they’ll go $100,000 or more in debt. They’ll get a degree in a subject that’s like I mean zombie studies basically. Doesn’t do much for them when they get out. And then they’re underemployed with a lot of debt. You have some guys, they get out of high school, they train. They go into something like welding, they’re making $100,000 a year in their early twenties many times. No debt. And a lot of them can even go into business on their own and make even more income. So, this is a no-brainer to be able to provide opportunities in these industries,” DeSantis said.

Governor DeSantis said there’s more money to come that he plans to use towards helping the panhandle bounce back.

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