CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WDVM) — West Virginia Governor Jim Justice detailed his plan for the $122 million dollars in CARES Act funding awarded to his state.
The largest sums of money will be designated to expanding the workforce despite the record low unemployment rate of 4% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. Gov. Justice allocated $48 million to the new nursing education, training, and retention program which is designed to educate and recruit new nurses to the Mountain state. He also designated $22 million for the new Back to Work incentive program where residents will become eligible for an incentive after 90 days at a new job.
“We still have a bunch of folks that are still at home, and if we can help them with the possibility of daycare, whatever it may be, to get them back into the workforce, to absolutely get them on a pathway of feeling great, great about themselves and everything in their accomplishments,” Gov. Justice explained. “Our economy needs those people.”
Gov. Justice also allocated $10 million for an emergency management crisis fund that will directly benefit first responders across the state. Food pantries and homeless shelters across the state will receive $7.25 million dollars with significant upgrades slated for a National Guard food distribution facility including new cold storage devices. The CARES Act funding will also be distributed to 6 different shelters across the state with each organization receiving $250,000.
- Union Mission in Charleston
- Clarksburg Mission in Clarksburg
- Huntington City Mission in Huntington
- Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission in Martinsburg
- Bluefield Union Mission in Bluefield
- Union Mission of Fairmont
- Faith Mission Homeless Shelter in Hurricane
Some of the funding will also be used to rebuild the Salvation Army in Beckley with $6 million dollars being allocated to rebuilding the Salvation Army Potomac Division which serves Raleigh, Wyoming, Fayette, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Webster, and Pocahontas counties.
Gov. Justice also highlighted the work of Shepherd University who is working on light therapy. He awarded the Shepherdstown institution $5.5 million dollars to develop what the Governor is calling cutting-edge technology to manage pain and potentially help combat COVID. Governor Justice also allocated $2 million dollars for Game Changers, the youth drug prevention that works in communities and schools to teach children about the dangers of drugs.
The funding will also be used to expand remote working facilities across the state. West Virginia University has received $3 million dollars to improve and expand the areas. We’re going to do $3 million to our remote work facilities. This money will go to WVU to expand remote work facilities across the state. Governor Justice also highlighted that a portion of the funding will be used to improve and renovate the State Fair facilities which have gone unrepaired.
Governor Justice also set aside $2.7 million in pandemic-related costs in the state DHHR for expenses such as testing and vaccine distribution. He also allocated $1.3 million dollars for the Do It For Baby Dog Sweepstakes as well as $3.3 million dollars for gifts that have been awarded to prizewinners.
The remaining $15.2 million dollars will be put towards state agencies. He explained that previously counties and cities across the state were awarded $256 million dollars to cover costs they had to expense themselves. The remaining funds will now be able to cover any accumulated costs that state or local agencies have had to pay for and alleviate any remaining financial burdens.