Federal grant program provides well-paying jobs in Pasco and Hernando counties to residents to assist with Hurricane Irma Recovery.

The Florida Labor Department reports that the state lost 127,000 jobs in September 2017, mostly in hotels, restaurants and retail stores, after Hurricane Irma flooded much of the state. While many of these job losses were temporary, for some people, Hurricane Irma cost them their jobs permanently.

Fortunately, a program that provides well-paying jobs for those who became unemployed due to Hurricane Irma or that have experienced long term unemployment is now available in Pasco and Hernando counties. The program is part of the Disaster Dislocated Worker Grant program and it offers eligible applicants work in the area of disaster clean up, recovery and humanitarian efforts. Hourly wages are guaranteed at a minimum of $13 an hour.

Eligibility for this program is based on the following:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • US citizen
  • Reside in Pasco or Hernando County
  • Been laid off
  • Lost employment due to Hurricane Irma
  • Exhausted unemployment benefits

While these types of grants are not new, this one is specific to Pasco and Hernando counties, because both counties were declared disaster areas. The grant is being administered by Eckerd Connects, Workforce Development and Career Source Pasco Hernando.

“There is still so much to be done to rebuild after Hurricane Irma, and there are jobs that need to be filled now to get that work done,” said  Jerome Salatino, CEO of CareerSource Pasco Hernando.  “This grant program allows us to fill those jobs with men and woman who are simply looking for a fair job at a fair wage.”

Jobs include work both outside and in an office. For example, one available job is doing Day Use Area/Trail/Campground Maintenance work for the Florida Forest Service. Another position is available with The Volunteer Way, as an administrative/financial program assistant.

To learn more about the Disaster Dislocated Worker Grant program visit www.eckerd.org/Irma. To apply for the program, contact Mary Louise Foy at (352) 667-3590 or mfoy@careersourcepascohernando.com.


Eckerd Connects’ Workforce Development programs align with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) through partnerships and strategies to provide career pathways and supportive services needed for youth to obtain employment and retain a self-sustaining wage.  Youth are provided counseling, GED preparation, job readiness training, active follow-up and job placement. To learn more please visit www.eckerd.org/workforce.

Eckerd Connects was founded in 1968 by Jack and Ruth Eckerd with the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed. The national nonprofit organization has connected more than 200,000 children and families to the help they need through programs in family and child services, workforce development, and juvenile justice services.