Emergency Fire Recovery Grant

Jeff believes that good-paying, reliable jobs should be in reach for every Oregonian, and that our communities deserve to receive the resources they need to rebuild after a devastating wildfire. That is why Jeff’s team pushed to overcome obstacles and get full grant funding to get Oregon’s workers and their communities back on their feet following last year’s wildfires.

Last year’s wildfires devastated homes, shuttered businesses, burned millions of acres, and left many Oregonians without work. After the state of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission applied for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wildfire Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grant, they had not heard back from the federal agency—even as Oregonians urgently needed help. Team Merkley pushed the federal bureaucracy to respond to the state agency.

And with Team Merkley’s help, Oregon secured the full $19.5 million to help communities across the state put dislocated workers back to work to rebuild after the devastating impact of wildfires.

Upon hearing the news of Oregon’s grant approval, Lane County Workforce Board Director Kristina Payne wrote to the senator’s field representative: “Thank you!!! And I’m totally giving you and the rest of the Senator’s team credit for getting Oregon the entire amount we requested in National Emergency fire relief funds! Senator Merkley is making a huge difference for Oregonians!”

This funding will help workforce boards in wildfire-affected areas across the state put Oregonians back to work rebuilding these communities, including jobs to aid watershed recovery and other wildfire recovery work efforts.