The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday allocated more than $5 million to assist individuals who were affected by the historic 2019 Arkansas River Flood.

Overall, $5,411,294 was approved to fund the Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG), with $1,803,765 released immediately to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

The funding assists with the assessment of workforce needs in response to the historic flooding event.

Severe storms and flooding began on May 21, impacting counties across the state. A disaster declaration by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) followed in June, allowing Arkansas officials to request DWG funding to assist with both cleanup and other recovery efforts in Arkansas, Chicot, Conway, Crawford, Desha, Faulkner, Franklin, Jefferson, Johnson, Lincoln, Logan, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Sebastian and Yell counties.

Dislocated Worker Grants, which are supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, temporarily expand service capacities of dislocated worker trainings and employment programs on state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic everts that cause significant job loss.

According to its mission statement, the Department of Labor works to “foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wages earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.”

Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached at mhicks@thecabin.net.