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Governor Announces New Employment Assistance Program for Displaced Katrina Survivors
"Working Your Way Back Home"

From: Office of the Governor
Filed 8/11/06  GCN

        (Biloxi, Mississippi) - Governor Haley Barbour today announced the "Working Your Way Back Home" initiative, a program funded by the U. S. Department of Labor and administered by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) in partnership with Manpower, Inc.  The Governor was joined by Dr. Helen Parker, regional administrator for the U. S. Department of Labor; Tommye Dale Favre, executive director of MDES; and Melanie Holmes, vice president of Manpower corporate affairs.

Governor Barbour made the announcement at the Governor's Recovery Expo, held at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi from August 11-13, 2006.  "This is a collaborative effort between MDES and Manpower to help displaced residents who, due to Hurricane Katrina, were forced to evacuate to a safer environment but now want to return to their homes and rejoin the Mississippi workforce," Governor Barbour said.

"By helping to bring back skilled workers needed to fill jobs for rebuilding the Gulf Coast and South Mississippi, this initiative will be valuable to both displaced families and Mississippi businesses," he added.

The "Working Your Way Back Home" program provides assistance to Mississippians who evacuated to areas at least 151 miles from their place of residence as a result of Hurricane Katrina.  Through the state's network of WIN Job Centers, these individuals may receive assistance with job placement or occupational training, as well as funds to pay for relocation expenses.  These funds are made available through a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) National Emergency Grant.

"We are excited about the opportunity to be working together with the Employment and Training Administration and local governments to help Katrina evacuees and create the model for other hurricane-affected states, as well as for future collaborations between the public workforce system and the private sector," said Melanie Holmes of Manpower. "The ability to quickly assess talent, fill skill gaps and match employers' needs with individuals' skills and abilities is enhanced through this regional partnership."

For more information on the "Working Your Way Back Home" program, contact your nearest WIN Job Center or call 1-888-844-3577.  Additional information can be found at www.wininmississippi.org.

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