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Hire workers for nearly free in Florida 2010

Florida employers can hire low-income workers with up to 95% of pay covered by a new federal stimulus program aimed at putting jobless people back to work by subsidizing their pay and benefits through Sept. 30, 2010.
Offered to public and private companies, if a worker is paid $12 per hour, the expected average, the Florida back to work program would pay $11.40 and the business $.60.

“These funds will provide businesses throughout our state a tremendous opportunity to give someone in need a fresh start and a new direction for the future,” Gov. Charlie Crist said.

Workers must meet federal low-income guidelines and have at least one child under 18.

Florida is eligible for up to $200 million in stimulus money for the program. No state matching dollars are required.

Florida Back to Work job sites will be coordinated through Florida’s 24 regional workforce boards, which will link local businesses with eligible employees.

The online information about program details is a little weak. Broward refers employers to read American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Implementation Plan. This takes you to The Florida Office of Economic Recovery for information about Workforce Employment and Training
Employers interested in participating need to contact Broward County’s Workforce One or Palm Beach County’s Workforce Alliance.

Job seekers can visit www.EmployFlorida.com to look for Florida Back to Work employment opportunities.

A history of pollution to the current energy crises

Imagine the number of jobs that would be created if an entire city were to implement ‘go green’ ideas. Our planet is in trouble and all Americans should be looking at ways they can contribute to saving the environment. We can’t have the attitude of ‘it won’t matter if we fix it because other cities will do nothing’. California is light years ahead of the nation and by no coincidence, their economic growth has far surpassed other areas. Everyone has an obligation to do their part.

I grew up in Rochester NY, an area once largely inhabited by Indians. We grew up revering the Indians- it was a big part of our school curriculum, or at least it had a big impact on me. Around that time a soon to be famous commercial was on the air with images of pollution and ending with an Indian riding down a garbage filled river in a canoe, a single tear falling down his face. I was a kid and felt terrible for everything we had done to their beautiful lands. We had the love canal mess, dirty air, rivers without life, animals going extinct. Our corner of the world, and many others like it were in a real mess.

Those times spurred new federal regulations and the Super Fund for cleaning up messes from decades of chemical dumping that were polluting our waters. It was a call to action that we needed to change how we interact with the environment. People were dying. Plants and animals were dying. The only fish I saw in Lake Ontario were thousands of dead ones on the beaches. People and businesses began to change. Rivers were cleaned up. We have otters back in local rivers that couldn’t support life. People are earning a living with fishing charters in the same areas that were disgustingly brown previously.

We’re at that point again. Our planet is in crises and we need to make drastic changes. Just like people had to retool and rethink their garbage disposal in the past, we need to start retooling and rethinking about our energy usage. The chemical clean up business is still huge and employs highly skilled and well paid workers.

Let’s start something different and generate new jobs in the green sector. It takes energy to make energy saving products. There are all kinds of barriers. But there can be no more excuses. We’ve floundered for too many years ‘waiting for the price to come down’. I finally put in CFL bulbs, but balked at the price of solar. Here are some of my ideas for Lighthouse Point Going Green that I hope to help kick start this year, and maybe get the solar sooner rather than later.

Note: I think we’ll also need to revise my old idea about exempting property tax increases from home improvements. Going Green projects will need an exemption to work.