By Bob Katzen

Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) and Rep. Dan Sena (D-Acton) have filed a jobs bill to help residents economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pair said the measure, modeled after the FDR New Deal-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) program, would create jobs for unemployed and underemployed residents while stimulating the economy.

“Residents are seeking to get back to work and provide for their families, but the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put a strain on the economy with many folks still jobless,” said Eldridge. “I believe it is the government’s responsibility to create jobs in an economic downturn, providing paychecks to residents who are able to re-join the job market. I’m proud to file this legislation with Rep. Sena, who is acutely aware of the struggle immigrants are undergoing during this pandemic especially since many immigrant families are still not eligible for unemployment benefits or the federal CARES Act stimulus checks.”

“COVID-19 has been economically disastrous, especially in our immigrant communities and communities of color,” said Sena. “We must step up to make sure that our neighbors across Massachusetts have the resources they need to provide for themselves and their families during the pandemic and beyond. The Mass WPA program will create jobs for those who need them and help us build a better future for Massachusetts.”

The bill allows the program to consider projects related to infrastructure; contact tracing for COVID-19; climate change resiliency, environmental conservation and water quality; the agriculture, food and beverage industry; home care services; online education and childcare; and the cannabis industry.

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