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U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration deploys assets to respond to Gustav and the hurricane season

OPA News Release: September 4, 2008

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and state and local workforce organizations have deployed personnel and a wide array of resources to assist workers affected by Gustav or facing the prospect of hurricane-related weather in the near future.

"We are working with our state and local workforce partners to speed the recovery time for the thousands of people whose employment may be affected by these storms," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Brent R. Orrell. "We want those who are returning from evacuation sites to know that they can start applying for benefits and services as they return to their homes."

Five mobile One-Stop Career Center units from Louisiana and Texas are due to go into service in southern Louisiana on Friday. Additional mobile units stand ready or are deployed in states across the Southeast. Disability Program Navigators – specialists who connect persons with disabilities to employment opportunities and government services - are in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houma, Shreveport and other locations in Louisiana. Moreover, Alabama, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Utah have volunteered for stand-by status to assist in handling a potentially high volume of regular unemployment and Disaster Unemployment Assistance claims.

Anyone with questions relating to Department of Labor benefits and services, including those who have lost their jobs or businesses as the result of a natural disaster such as Hurricane Gustav, can obtain answers to specific questions by calling the department's toll-free helpline at 866-4-USA-DOL (487-2365). Operators also will be able to refer questions about wage-related, paycheck and safety issues to staff who can help directly or point callers in the right direction for more information.

More information about the Labor Department's hurricane recovery assistance services, including Disability Program Navigators, is available on the Internet at

Welcome to ETA's Disabilities Program home page, Disability Online. The Disabilities Program develops and implements workforce disability policy and program initiatives to address structural, programmatic, and systemic employment barriers for people with disabilities. The Disabilities Program supports the New Freedom Initiative to improve career and employment outcomes for people with disabilities through: 1) inter-and intra-agency collaborations and partnerships; 2) demand-driven initiatives responding to employers’ recruitment and retention needs; 3) training and technical assistance; 4) legislative and regulatory, policy, and operations analysis; and 5) other activities that lead to systemic improvement. The Disabilities Program’s goal is to provide the greatest opportunity for job seekers and employees with disabilities to achieve employment and economic self-sufficiency through the One Stop Career Center system by utilizing the principles of self-determination, informed choice, integration, and inclusion.

Grant Programs

Disability Program Navigator Initiative – ETA and SSA are jointly funding the DPN Initiative in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico where SSA implemented employment support initiatives. This Initiative promotes comprehensive services and work incentive information for SSA beneficiaries and other people with disabilities, through the One Stop system. The Initiative focuses on developing new and ongoing partnerships to achieve seamless, comprehensive, and integrated access to services, creating systemic change, and expanding the workforce development system's capacity to serve customers with disabilities and employers.

Hurricane Katrina Assistance, Resources and Information for People with Disabilities

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Created: October 23, 2006
Updated: June 10, 2008