To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for North Carolina families
Facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Obama started his Presidency with decisive action -- proposing and quickly passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Since the bill went into effect, the ARRA has already helped put money back in the pockets of 95 percent of working Americans, created and saved jobs across the country and made key investments in our community to help kickstart the economy. To ensure that the funds are spent efficiently and effectively, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with overseeing the implementation of ARRA, and projects have already begun to come in under budget across the country. As the President prepares to introduce the details of his budget and further plans to revitalize the economy, here’s a look at how his policies have impacted North Carolina in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON NORTH CAROLINA
- Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $1.7 billion back in the pockets of more than 3.4 million hard-working North Carolina families.
- $67,543,134 to support child care for working families.
- $58,050,300 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $131,954,536 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $75,989,000 to the State Energy Program, available for rebates to consumers for energy saving improvements; development of renewable energy projects; promotion of Energy Star products; efficiency upgrades for state and local government buildings; and other innovative state efforts to help save families money on their energy bills.
- 2,136,664,382 dollars potentially available to North Carolina to lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save thousands of teaching jobs at risk due to state and local budget cuts.
- $2,600,000 to fund 2 new Community Health Centers, which will serve an estimated 11,520 patients and create a projected 85 jobs
- $8,636,285 to expand services at 27 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 41,288 patients and create or save a projected 154 jobs.
- $2,768,783 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $439,570,159 made available in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to protect health care for the families hit hard by the economic crisis and some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
- $5,153,105 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $735,526,684 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $103,304,242 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- $24,416,000 to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.
- More than $56.3 million for state and local law enforcement assistance available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The JAG Program supports a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.
REAL RESULTS IN NORTH CAROLINA
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
Western North Carolina Paving Company President Said Stimulus Would Save Jobs at His Company. "Western North Carolina road construction projects to start this spring and summer with federal stimulus money will save jobs or boost payroll at two companies hit by construction industry slowdowns, officials said… That's welcome news to officials at APAC's Asheville Division, a paving company that employs nearly 200 people in Enka, and Vulcan Materials, which has quarries and other facilities at seven WNC locations. The projects may not result in a big boost in employment at APAC, but, ‘It's going to keep us whole,’ Division President Bill Tomlinson said. The company let go 20-25 workers last fall over and above seasonal layoffs, and it would be difficult to keep employment numbers up this year without the stimulus-funded projects, Tomlinson said. ‘It's going to save jobs.’" [Asheville Citizen-Times, 2/24/09]
Stimulus Lifts Quick Job Training Effort. "The N.C. Community College System and the Department of Commerce will create a dozen career programs that will require six months or less to complete in an effort to boost employment. An announcement from Gov. Beverly Perdue’s office said the effort is part of the JobsNOW initiative focused on job creation and economic development. The 12 career areas were chosen based on current or anticipated market demand. They are: nursing assistant, phlebotomy, medical coding, office/clerical support, masonry/tile cutting, plumbing, carpentry, welding, food service, autobody repair, manufacturing/materials and HVAC/industrial maintenance. The programs in the ‘12 in 6’ training initiative will be available at all 58 community colleges in the state by the end of September, the announcement said. Commerce’s Workforce Development Division has allocated $13.4 million in federal recovery funds for the program. The money should be distributed to local campuses on July 1." [Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area (NC), 4/16/09]
North Carolina Awarded Its First $36.3 Million in Stimulus Funding for Highway and Bridge Projects – Several Charlotte-Area Companies Benefited. "The first of the state’s highway and bridge projects funded with federal stimulus dollars have been awarded to several local companies, according to Gov. Bev Perdue’s office. The nine projects are worth $36.3 million. Work will begin as soon as April 27. ‘These first road projects will create a wide range of jobs throughout North Carolina and can address some of our most pressing, ready-to-go infrastructure needs,’ Perdue says." [Charlotte Business Journal, 3/26/09]
New National Guard Joint Force Headquarters Will Create Up To 4,200 Jobs. "Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that work will begin shortly on a $56 million new North Carolina National Guard Joint Force Headquarters facility that will also house offices of the state Division of Emergency Management, the State Highway Patrol and the Department of Transportation in Raleigh. The project, which is expected to create up to 4,200 jobs, will be open to bids next week with work to start as soon as early summer and to be finished within two years. In addition to the National Guard, the facility will provide the main offices for North Carolina’s Emergency Management division, communications for the state Department of Transportation and the triangle area communications center of the Highway Patrol. About $41.5 million in federal funding for the facility was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The remaining money comes from state general and highway trust funds that had previously been set aside for the project. ‘This project is big a win for North Carolina. It provides a state of the art facility that will better coordinate key state services and is ready to put people to work in much needed jobs,’ Gov. Perdue said." [Asheville Citizen-Times, 3/25/09]
RPC Contracting of Kitty Hawk Received a $6.1 Million Contract to Widen Part of U.S. 158. "Federal stimulus money will fund a delayed project to widen U.S. 158 through part of Camden County, the state announced Tuesday. The state has awarded a $6.1 million contract to RPC Contracting Inc. of Kitty Hawk to widen 2.4 miles of U.S. 158 from the Pasquotank River to Country Club Road, a stretch known locally as the Camden Causeway. The long-delayed construction is scheduled to begin as early as April 27 and take about two years to complete, said Jerry Jennings, district engineer for the state Department of Transportation." [Virginian-Pilot, 3/26/09]
Stimulus Funds Will Go To Asheville Airport For Terminal Renovations, Create Wide Variety Of Jobs. "Federal stimulus money has landed at the Asheville Regional Airport, where a $7.5 million grant announced Wednesday will renovate the terminal and bring new jobs to Western North Carolina. The Asheville Airport Authority submitted its plans to the Federal Aviation Authority and was approved for the "shovel-ready project" under the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law by President Barack Obama. ‘We knew that this project was going to be in our future, but coming sooner rather than later, the board decided to submit the terminal project as part of the federal stimulus package,’ said Patti Michel, the airport's director of marketing and public affairs. ’The main thing is this is going to create jobs, from construction trades, from electrical to plumbing, and their suppliers, which will stimulate the local economy.’ The project will relocate the terminal's A gates downstairs with bids going out in May and awarded in June. Construction is scheduled to begin as early as July, Michel said. The new gates should be in service by 2011, she said. ‘That's a quick turnaround that will put boots on the ground and bring jobs,’ said Richard Lutovsky, president and CEO of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. ‘It's also nice to get a majority of the funds announced for North Carolina. That doesn't happen that often.’" [Asheville Citizen-Times, 4/9/09]
North Carolina School Systems Receive $23 Million in Stimulus Funds Earlier Than Expected. "The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system will get money from the economic-stimulus package much earlier than expected, officials said this week. The school system will get about $23 million for high-poverty schools and students with disabilities, according to a breakdown of estimates released last month. Some of that money could be sent to the school system as early as next month, officials said. A second installment could be here by early October, they said. Officials originally thought that the money would come in 2010 and 2011." [Winston-Salem Journal, 3/20/09]
Wake County Commissioners Chairman Said Stimulus Grant to Place 600 Youth, 130 Dislocated Workers and 80 Other Adults in Jobs "Will Be a Critical Element in Providing Jobs." "The work force development board for Wake and Johnston counties announced Monday that it has been awarded $3.2 million in federal stimulus funds to provide jobs for dislocated workers, underemployed adults and youths. Wake County estimates the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will provide placement in jobs for about 600 youths, 130 dislocated workers and 80 other adults. Veterans have priority in getting help finding work. ‘This grant will be a critical element in providing jobs to help our citizens during these challenging economic times,’ Wake commissioners Chairman Harold H. Webb said in a news release. ‘We understand the need to strengthen our work force, and we plan to use these stimulus dollars accordingly.’" [News & Observer, 4/7/09]
$1.2 Million in Stimulus Funding to Bring Central Air-Conditioning and Heating To 169 Low-Income Homes For First Time. "The Salisbury Housing Authority will use most of $1.2 million in federal stimulus money to bring central air-conditioning and new heating to three of its public housing developments. ‘It really is a godsend," Layton Woodcock, executive director of the housing authority, said of money coming from the recently passed American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. "We didn't know how long it would take for all of our apartments to get central air." The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is distributing stimulus money to local housing authorities based on a complicated formula tied to capital funding, Woodcock said. The Salisbury Housing Authority will receive $1,262,071. Almost $1 million of that is expected to go toward new heating and air-conditioning systems for Civic Park Apartments, Pine Hill Apartments and Linn Lane/Partee Street Apartments. The gas furnaces in each of those developments also are outdated and need to be replaced. The three apartment developments have never had central air-conditioning and are the housing authority's only public housing units left without that amenity. Without the stimulus money, Woodcock said, the housing authority did not know when it would be able to make the improvements. Some 169 low-income, family apartments will benefit from the HVAC updates." [Salisbury Post, 3/17/09]
Gaston, Caldwell clinics get stimulus money: Two health centers in Gaston and Caldwell Counties will receive a combined $2.6 million to expand services for uninsured patients. They are Gaston Family Health Services and the West Caldwell Health Council, where administrator Valerie McRary says the recession is putting new pressure on the clinic. "In last two months we've added over a hundred new patients to the clinic, and of those only four came in with any type of insurance. We normally add about 40 new patients a month and half of them would have insurance." LINK
High Point Set To Build Pedestrian Friendly "Wish List." "It looks like High Point is going to get its urban transit wish list. Dara Demi, N.C. Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said the city's slated to receive $2,081,079 of the $70,507,276 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for transit systems in North Carolina's urban areas. The funds will be administered through the High Point Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which includes High Point and surrounding counties and municipalities, Demi said. ‘We've been working on preparing a list of projects that would be funded through the MPO, and Hi tran is the recipient of part of that ... for improvements,’ said Mark McDonald, transportation director. ‘One focus is some sidewalk construction that would provide pedestrian connectivity along bus routes and improve people's ability to get from their homes and their businesses to bus routes around town.’ McDonald emphasized that transportation planners had essentially been compiling a ‘wish list’ for funding through the stimulus program. It totaled about $2.1 million.’" [TMC News, 3/7/09]