ICYMI: FloridaCommerce Surges Resources to the City of Perry in Response to Georgia-Pacific Mill Closure and Hurricane Idalia

Sep 28, 2023

ICYMI: FloridaCommerce Surges Resources to the City of Perry in Response to Georgia-Pacific Mill Closure and Hurricane Idalia

~ More Than 10 State Agencies and Partners Co-located to Connect Job Seekers with Opportunities ~

Perry, Fla. —  Last week, Governor DeSantis directed FloridaCommerce to host a job fair at the Smokin' in the Pines BBQ in Perry in response to the recent Georgia-Pacific Mill closure. More than ten
state agencies and partners co-located to connect residents with hiring employers and job training opportunities, adding to the disaster recovery resources already on the ground. Additionally, volunteers were on site assisting residents with hurricane recovery resources like Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans.

"FloridaCommerce was proud to answer Governor DeSantis’ call to host a job fair in Perry last week—a great first step in helping the Perry community get back on their feet,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly. "To our neighbors in the Big Bend impacted by sudden layoffs and a major hurricane, we are here for the long haul. We want to ensure you can access great career opportunities through our job fairs, and secure business and employee resources— while you await federal support.”

“Everyone at the job fair was so helpful and knowledgeable it was great to talk with them so close after the Georgia-Pacific Mill closure,” said City of Perry resident, Jarvis Howell. “As I and so many others in my community are looking for work, it is good knowing that there are resources available that will be here for the long-haul.”

Partners on site included, The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, CareerSource Florida, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Department of Health, Florida Department of Children and Families, The City of Tallahassee, Nammo, U.S Sugar and the Florida Small Business Development Center Network.

"At the Job Fair there were multiple state agencies that I was happy to meet with and discuss job options with following the impacts of hurricane Idalia," said City of Perry resident, Tammy Jean Anderson. "It was very informative, and I thank the state for their work in connecting resources like Disaster Unemployment Assistance within the community."

“I attended the job fair at the Smokin in the Pines BBQ event, and it was great to talk with multiple state agencies to hear about their job openings,” said City of Perry resident Angela Cooper. “After a Hurricane hits it is great seeing the community come together and with sudden layoffs, I am grateful this job fair occurred so quickly.”

CareerSource Florida  
Floridians in search of work and new job opportunities are encouraged to turn to the CareerSource Florida network for help. Floridians can find guidance on how to register with Employ Florida and search listings of available local job openings. Career seekers also can improve their employability by perfecting resume writing and interviewing skills, establishing career goals, and pursuing customized career training. These services are provided at no cost to job seekers. 


Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
Governor DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, administered by FloridaCommerce, making $20 million available for businesses impacted by Hurricane Idalia, with $5 million set aside for agricultural and aquaculture small businesses. On September 11, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $1.6 million to Florida small businesses impacted by Hurricane Idalia through Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program.

Florida small business owners in need of assistance are encouraged to visit www.FloridaJobs.org/EBL to apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance
FloridaCommerce has made Disaster Unemployment Assistance available to Florida businesses and residents in FEMA disaster-declared counties. Additionally, work search reporting, waiting week, and Employ Florida registration requirements for Reemployment Assistance claims have been temporarily waived for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Idalia in FEMA disaster-declared counties.

Eligible Floridians whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Idalia are encouraged to submit a claim at www.FloridaJobs.org

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