Recovery. This word became part of our everyday vocabulary since 2017, the year in which Irma and Maria devastated us. Let us talk about its various connotations: recovery in construction, infrastructure, recovery of spaces, just recovery, ecological recovery, resilience, agricultural recovery… without forgetting individual and economic recovery.

The Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds allocated to Puerto Rico provide recovery opportunities in all of these areas.

Among the federal regulations of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 is what we commonly known as Section 3. It seeks to ensure that economic opportunities, such as employment, contracting, training, and networking funded with federal grants awarded by the United States Department of Housing (HUD), among them, CDBG-DR, are provided to low or very low-income persons—particularly those who reside in public housing projects—and the businesses that provide opportunities to them.

Federal regulations cover all construction and rehabilitation projects as well as other professional services, some of which stem from CDBG-DR. Furthermore, all businesses carrying out these activities under the different programs are responsible for joining in efforts to provide employment opportunities, training, and subcontracting persons who meet the definition of a Section 3 individual. Thus, investing capital in human resources and service contracting will have ripple effects on our economy. Section 3 seeks to empower our people in new trades and prepare them for different work scenarios. In addition, it provides opportunities for small, women, and minority-owned business, seeking to integrate them in formal competitive processes and providing them with greater contracting opportunities. And that is what should permeate every diversification of capital and the human engine, both individually and socially.

Trained qualified individuals and businesses may face with greater confidence a highly competitive professional world, be successful, and achieve the economies that all sectors, communities, and people need to prosper. Opportunities are available, you just need to show your interest and apply. Determination always finds its way. Let us take recovery seriously.

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