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$25 million pledged for flood-cleanup jobs

The federal government will spend up to $25 million to help California workers, giving them temporary jobs in cleanup and relief efforts as the state struggles with a string of storms, Labor Secretary Alexis Herman announced Saturday.

"We're committed to doing everything possible to help the families whose lives and livelihoods are being overturned by these devastating floods," Herman said.The emergency help program pledges up to $25 million to the California Employment Development Department and is targeted at the estimated 2,000 Californians who have lost, or stand to lose, their jobs due to flooding.

Herman said an initial grant of $8 million would be released immediately to be supplemented by some $9 million left over from a flood relief grant provided to 27 California counties last year.

Further grants of up to $17 million would be made available as conditions warrant over the next six months, Herman said in a conference call.

The grants would allow workers to be hired for jobs cleaning up public and private nonprofit property hit by flooding, restoration of public utilities, and repair and rebuilding of public facilities. Pay would range between $6 and $10 per hour.