ALBANY, N.Y. /New York Netwire/ — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the state has secured a $27 million federal grant that will help put more than 5,000 unemployed New Yorkers to work helping clean-up communities still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.
The funding – provided by a National Emergency Grant – will be provided to communities hit hard by the storm so they can quickly hire young people and the unemployed to help with clean-up efforts in affected counties, including the Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester. The State Department of Labor, which is administering the funds, will work with communities to identify cleanup areas and deploy workers to job sites.
“As New York State begins to rebuild and clean-up after the incredible destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, the enormous amount of work to be done gives us a chance to provide young and unemployed New Yorkers with job opportunities cleaning up their communities ,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will not only provide young people and the unemployed with the opportunity to participate in cleaning up and rebuilding communities devastated by the storm, but it will provide valuable work experience and on-the-job training that can be useful in future careers.”
In addition, Governor Cuomo today announced that the state has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to launch a local hire program to replace FEMA employees, often from out of state, with New Yorkers. The goal is to hire upwards of 700 New Yorkers.
“One of the ways we can help New York recover is to engage New Yorkers themselves in rebuilding their communities,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael F. Byrne. “We will have a stronger recovery by having employees who are personally vested in its success.”
APPLYING FOR A JOB
The Department of Labor will assist local communities to identify and hire workers. Individuals who are interested in applying for a job under this grant are encouraged to contact the Department of Labor at 1-888-4-NYSDOL (1-888-469-7365) or by visiting www.labor.ny.gov/sandyjobs. Individuals can also visit their local Disaster Recovery Center or One-Stop Career Center.
All individuals must be unemployed to be eligible. Once hired, workers will earn approximately $15 per hour to work on short and long-term projects. The work will include cleaning and repairing damaged public structures and property in each of the nine counties declared disaster areas.
In addition to offering benefits and on-the-job experience, each worker will be given assistance in finding their next job. Eligible youth will also be certified in the Governor’s New York Youth Works program.
Individuals interested in applying for a job with FEMA should visit Governor Cuomo’s Jobs Express website at http://www.labor.ny.gov/jobs/regional.shtm
The full-time, temporary positions range from Community Relations Specialists providing outreach to the disaster-stricken communities, to administrative assistants.
Governor Cuomo has directed the Department of Labor to immediately contact local public officials in affected localities to identify areas in need and dispatch cleanup and rebuilding crews. Local public officials may also submit information on projects and project sites to the Department of Labor by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The State Department of Labor with its reemployment services and one-stop career centers throughout the impacted areas will work aggressively to connect unemployed New Yorkers to additional jobs. Following Hurricane Sandy, storm related unemployment insurance claims have risen to nearly 50,000.