Governor Ron DeSantis announces $27 million in financial relief to communities impacted by Hurricane Michael

Governor Ron DeSantis announces $22 million in cost share waivers for local governments and $4.7 million through the Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program

Panama City, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state will be providing nearly $27 million to assist in Northwest Florida’s recovery from Hurricane Michael. Governor DeSantis is directing the Florida Division of Emergency Management to approve pending disaster recovery cost-share waivers for eligible local governments, which is expected to provide an estimated $22 million in financial relief to these communities.

Governor Ron DeSantis also announced $4.7 million has been awarded to two educational institutions through the Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program for Hurricane Michael Recovery. The program, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, is designed to train Floridians in construction trades necessary to support disaster recovery efforts.

For Hurricane Michael recovery, the Federal Government is reimbursing 90 percent of the costs of debris removal and emergency protective measures, and 75 percent of the costs of permanent work projects under the Public Assistance Grant Program. The remaining cost share is typically split between the state and local governments. As a part of today’s announcement, the state will be waiving the local cost share requirement for the eligible counties and cities with pending cost-share approvals.

The funds are allocated through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program.

“As Governor, I remain dedicated to the recovery of Northwest Florida and will continue to work tirelessly to deliver assistance to impacted communities,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “At my direction, the state will be providing nearly $27 million to assist in Northwest Florida’s recovery from Hurricane Michael, which includes $22 million in cost share waivers for local governments and $4.7 million to educational institutions to train Floridians in construction trades. We look forward to bringing this additional relief to the region, as well as enhancing career and job opportunities for local residents through this training program.”

“Today’s announcement builds on the work we’ve done since the first day Governor DeSantis took office and went to Mexico Beach to provide his support to the people there who had been forgotten by everyone else but were still desperately recovering from a Category 5 hurricane,” said FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz.“I’m especially happy for the fiscally-constrained cities and counties who no longer need to bear the burden of cost share as they continue to rebuild.”

“The Department is eager to partner with Chipola College and Tallahassee Community College to bring these programs to fruition and provide Floridians impacted by Hurricane Michael with the opportunity to rebuild,” said DEO Executive Director Dane Eagle. “The program will help our Panhandle communities recover from Hurricane Michael while giving lifelong skills to workers in the construction trades.”

Chipola College has been awarded $1,732,576 to develop building construction and welding technology programs that will provide training in masonry, carpentry, framing, electrical, and welding trades.

Tallahassee Community College has been awarded $2,990,313 to create a construction technology program that will provide training in masonry, concrete finishing, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and HVAC trades. In addition, funding will help the college, in partnership with the Habitat for Humanity of the Big Bend, develop a sustainable living program that will offer training in tiny home construction. Funding will also assist the college in developing an unmanned vehicle systems technology program that will provide training for drone use in construction, real estate, emergency management, mapping, and agricultural industries.

“It is critically important to ensure that educational institutions play an active role in the recovery efforts spurred by Hurricane Michael,” said Jim Murdaugh, Tallahassee Community College President. “TCC is pleased to assume a lead role in creating training programs that will provide the skills needed to not only fill the workforce gap in these in-demand trades but also address another important aspect of our mission related to the environment and sustainability.”

“Chipola College is proud to be a part of Rebuild Florida’s Workforce Recovery Training efforts in response to Hurricane Michael,” said Dr. Sarah Clemmons President of Chipola College. “Last year, Chipola launched a new Building Construction trades program to train workers to rebuild homes and businesses devastated by the hurricane. Our first class of construction students has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build four homes for local families in 2021. We are actively recruiting new construction students for the Fall semester which begins in August.”

Rebuild Florida is a partnership of DEO and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Launched in September 2018, Rebuild Florida uses federal funding for Florida’s long-term recovery efforts from the devastating impacts of natural disasters. For more information, visit www.RebuildFlorida.gov.