Billions of dollars for oil spill restoration will soon start flowing to Mississippi and the rest of the Gulf region. As MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports, community groups want to ensure that money will be used to create local jobs as well.
Community, government and business leaders gathered in Gulfport Thursday to discuss the issue. John Hosey is with The Corps Network.
"What we're trying to do is to help build best practices for connecting local communities, especially those vulnerable communities, with restoration proejcts, jobs, economic development, overall community resiliency," he says.
Part of the challenge: making sure local workers are trained to do the jobs needed. Telley Madina is with OxFam America, which is about to launch a pilot project in Louisiana that brings together the state’s workforce commission, community colleges, coastal restoration agency and the local urban league.
"It isn't rocket science, but it is a straightforward way in order to streamline, so that the individuals who are from those neighborhoods that have been affected the worst, have an opportunity to participate," Madina says.
Mississippi alone could receive as much as $1 billion dollars in restoration funding over the coming years.