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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 2, 2005
CONTACT: AWI Press Office, Warren May (850) 245-7130

Florida's Workforce Partners Provide Assistance to Hurricane Katrina Victims

Tallahassee - Susan Pareigis announced today that the Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI) and its partners are committing resources to assist Hurricane Katrina victims through the cooperation of local, state and federal agencies. Among the services being provided are assistance in filing unemployment compensation claims, general workforce services and referrals to humanitarian and health service agencies.

"All Floridians remember the assistance given to us last year by our Gulf coastal neighbors, and we are combining all of our resources to assist Hurricane Katrina victims," said Governor Jeb Bush. "Victims of this storm are finding themselves in need of all types of assistance, including unemployment assistance so they can provide for their families and our state stands ready to assist them in this critical phase."

Current assistance includes:

  • Unemployment Compensation assistance
    Florida has an ongoing agreement with other states for mutual acceptance of Unemployment Compensation claims filing, reaffirmed with the labor department officials from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Through the Employ Florida network of One-Stop Career Centers, Regional Workforce Boards are currently assisting evacuees in filing claims for unemployment compensation. Evacuees can locate the nearest One-Stop Career Center by calling toll-free (866) FLA-2345.

    *Note: Alabama residents should use their state's telephone filing system by calling toll-free 866-234-5382 to file a claim.

    Other Alabama telephone numbers:

    • Inquiry only 1-800-361-4524
    • TDY for claim filing 1-800-499-2035

    Louisiana and Mississippi residents may call the Florida filing system toll-free (800) 204-2418 from any county in Florida or locally call: Leon County (850) 921-7400 Orange County (407) 228-1501 Dade/Broward County (954) 625-3000.

    Louisiana also accepts Internet claims at www.laworks.net 

    "We are doing everything in our power to immediately provide relief for our neighboring states who have been so devastated by Hurricane Katrina," said Susan Pareigis, Director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation. "Florida's workforce partners are pulling out all the stops to provide direct services to evacuees from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana and we will soon move assets into the affected region to further assist our neighbors."

  • Other workforce services
    Assistance is being provided in the Regional Workforce Board's One-Stop Career Centers. Evacuees can use the computer resource rooms in the Centers to file unemployment compensation claims and access a variety of other services. Displaced workers can apply for assistance to be provided from federal agencies and from their home states, look for temporary work here in Florida, prepare/update resumes, and access other needed services/information provided on the Internet. The One-Stop Centers can also refer evacuees to Red Cross and FEMA resources. Evacuees can locate the nearest One-Stop Career Center by calling toll-free (866) FLA-2345.

  • Assistance to be deployed to affected areas
    AWI and the Regional Workforce Boards are communicating with officials in the affected states to determine how best we can deploy resources to help in communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Mobile One-Stop Centers are being readied for transit to Mississippi to provide self-contained workforce services to hurricane victims. The Mobile One-Stop Centers are self-contained vehicles that provide critical services in locations where regular services do not yet exist. Florida's Regional Workforce Boards who also own similar vehicles have generously offered their availability. Through a satellite uplink that connects the onboard workstations to the agency mainframe, individuals will be able to file claims for unemployment compensation and access other needed services/information provided on the Internet.

  • Human services assistance
    AWI and its workforce partners are working closely with the Florida Department of Children and Families to link families with their services at One Stop locations and elsewhere.

  • Office of Early Learning
    The Office of Early Learning is exploring ways to provide school readiness and Voluntary Prekindergarten services to children from the affected areas.

  • Research Assistance
    AWI's Labor Market Statistics unit is assisting our sister states in assessing the business and employment impacts of Hurricane Katrina. This data will provide valuable planning and recovery assessments by detailing the businesses and employees impacted in the path of the storm.

  • Additional helpful information and resources can be found on AWI's disaster recovery internet site at: http://www.floridajobs.org/emergency/emergency.html

The Agency for Workforce Innovation is the lead state workforce agency and directly administers the state's Labor Market Statistics program, Unemployment Compensation, Early Learning and various workforce development programs. The Office of Early Learning, a division within the agency, provides oversight of Florida's school readiness programs and is the lead entity for implementing the state's Voluntary Prekindergarten program.

Workforce development policy and guidance in Florida is provided by Workforce Florida, Inc. Workforce Florida and the Agency for Workforce Innovation are partners in the Employ Florida network which includes 24 Regional Workforce Boards who deliver services through nearly 100 One-Stop Career Centers around the state.

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Last updated: November 09, 2007

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