Miami-Dade County's $247 million stimulus adds nearly 5,000 jobs; cash well runs dry
By Ashley Hopkins
In the past year and a half Miami-Dade has received nearly a quarter-billion dollars in federal economic stimulus funds, resulting in nearly 5,000 county jobs.
Based on an Oct. 15 report from County Manager George Burgess, the county has requested $601.7 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. It has received $247.7 million, resulting in the creation of 3,481 direct, eight indirect and 1,448 contracted jobs. This amounts to about $50,000 per position.
Last fiscal year 3,305 jobs were created, and Mr. Burgess stressed that job creation is a lagging indicator of the economic climate. He said the county would begin seeing results of the stimulus program this fiscal year. According to Dan Wall, director of the Office of Grants Coordination, this is exactly what has happened.
While job growth should continue to increase in upcoming months, according to Mr. Wall, rates may stagnate as projects begin to wrap up. As most awards have already been allotted, the county may have to work with what it has in hand.
"Miami-Dade may have all that we're going to receive of the stimulus money," Mr. Wall said. "It's about putting it to work here locally."
Based on October's quarterly report, most jobs created in the past six months were contracted projects through the Public Works Department and the Housing and Community Development Department.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization got $56.2 million from the Federal Highway Administration for its Surface Transportation Program. These funds can be used to improve federal highways, public roads, bus terminals and transit facilities. Funds have resulted in 78 direct and 1,154 contracted positions. This amounts to about $46,000 per job.
The Public Housing Agency got $19.3 million from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for 74 projects to improve energy efficiencies in public housing units. As a result, 23 direct and 294 contracted positions were created or retained, amounting to about $61,000 per job.
The Office of Community and Economic Development received a $4.9 million block grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to improve housing for low- to moderate-income residents, maximize job retention and do infrastructure projects. The grant resulted in five jobs, at about $977,000 per position.
Miami-Dade's Community Action Agency received nearly $9.3 million from the US Department of Health and Human Services to finance various Head Start programs, resulting in 70 teaching and administrative positions. This amounts to about $133,000 per job. Funds are being used to provide comprehensive health, educational, nutritional and social services to low-income children, add families served, and train and technically assist employees.
The Transit Department received $1.1 million from the Federal Transit Administration for Metrorail improvements, resulting in five positions, and $7.5 million to upgrade signs, resulting in six positions. Taken together, this amounts to about $786,000 per job.