Projects Funded in Fresno County, California, by the Emergency Jobs Appropriations Act of 1983

HRD-85-90: Published: Aug 27, 1985. Publicly Released: Aug 27, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the status of projects funded by the Emergency Jobs Appropriations Act in Fresno County, California. The act's objectives were to: (1) provide productive employment for the unemployed; (2) hasten or initiate federal projects; and (3) provide humanitarian assistance to the indigent.

GAO found that: (1) $6 million in funds were awarded to 87 projects in Fresno County for public works projects and health care services; and (2) of the 279 people employed on 41 of the projects, at least 97 people had been previously unemployed. The act required federal agencies and states to use the funds to maximize the creation of new employment opportunities for individuals who were unemployed at least 15 of the 26 weeks preceding enactment. However, efforts to fulfill this provision varied greatly from hiring people who signed statements attesting to previous unemployment to not making attempts to hire the unemployed. GAO found that, in addition to short-term employment opportunities, benefits resulting from the projects included: (1) improvements to community facilities; (2) general repair and maintenance to public buildings and areas; (3) humanitarian assistance to communities for the low-income elderly, women, and children; and (4) potential long-term employment opportunities. GAO noted that uniform comprehensive reporting on the use of these funds was not required; therefore, detailed employment information was not available for all of the projects.

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