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$27 million grant to put unemployed New Yorkers to work on hurricane sandy clean up

ALBANY – New York 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 Andrew 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.”

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.

Individuals interested in applying for a job with FEMA should visit Governor Cuomo’s Jobs Express website at www.labor.ny.gov/jobs/regional.shtm