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Press Release: January 14, 2011

Governor announces 4,225 Oregon jobs funded by Recovery Act

$110 million in federal dollars funded approximately 4,225 jobs during last three months

(Salem) – Governor John Kitzhaber announced today that approximately 4,225 jobs were funded by $110 million in federal investments during the last three months through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). Total investment this quarter in all Recovery Act projects and services, including education, health care and unemployment assistance, is approximately $250 million.

“Getting Oregonians back to work is my top priority,” said Governor John Kitzhaber. “Together we can put our state back on track and build a solid foundation for the future.”

Direct assistance such as unemployment benefits, health care, and food stamps continue to be the largest category of Recovery Act funding to Oregonians. During the last three months, approximately $140 million in assistance was placed in the hands of individual Oregonians, helping families meet their basic needs.

Weatherization projects are bringing much needed relief in these cold winter months by providing insulation, furnace repair or replacement, heating duct improvements, window replacement, or other minor home repairs.  The Recovery Act has funded weatherization improvements for 2,829 homes and will reduce energy costs for low-income families by making their homes more energy efficient.

Oregon State University (OSU) researchers have invested nearly $2.9 million in 77 competitive grants during the quarter in areas such as public health, climate change, mathematics education, agriculture, and ocean science.  OSU scientists have identified a new molecule through a Recovery Act grant that may help fight autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, allergic asthma, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and psoriasis.  In total, the research projects being conducted at all Oregon universities have funded 132 jobs this quarter.

Oregon has become a national leader in health information technology implementation and is making even more progress with the addition of two Recovery Act grants.  These innovative projects will reduce medical costs in Oregon and allow health care programs to be more efficient while maintaining confidentiality and information security.  Enhancing and expanding electronic health records will allow all Oregonians to receive higher quality healthcare.

The Recovery Act has also funded expansion of Oregon’s drug court programs to help address the public safety issues caused by repeat property offenders, many of whom may otherwise be incarcerated in the state prison system.  Eight counties in Oregon received the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant and have drug courts in operation that are accepting participants, funding 19 jobs this quarter.  These post-conviction drug courts allow increased supervision, frequent drug testing, and intensive treatment.  Outcomes for similar programs have been very successful in reducing drug use and criminal recidivism among participants and increasing public and child safety.

Oregon’s recovery website details all of the information about spending within the state, allowing you to see how state agencies are investing in areas such as community service, education, energy, human services, housing, natural resources, public safety, as well as transportation and other job-creating infrastructure projects in Oregon.

In addition, the Economic Recovery Executive Team has published a Recovery Act Progress Report from the previous quarter that details how these funds are impacting Oregonians.  The report can be found here.

By the end of the month, the federal recovery website will also have comprehensive data from all states, local entities and private recipients to provide a portal of information for media and the public. 

The next quarterly report to the federal government from states on Recovery Act spending is scheduled for April 2011.

For more information on the highlights of Oregon’s latest Recovery Act report, click here.

To view the Oregon recovery website, go to:  www.oregon.gov/recovery.

For the federal recovery website, go to:  www.recovery.gov.

 

Contacts:
Tim Raphael, 503-689-6117
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324
Nicole Charlson (Recovery Act Team), 503-373-0289

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