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Gov. Cuomo Announces Federal Grant To Help Get Thousands Of New Yorkers Back To Work

New York State Department Of Labor Commissioner Peter Rivera makes federal grant announcement in Red Hook Nov. 25, 2012 (credit: Jim Smith/WCBS 880)

New York State Department Of Labor Commissioner Peter Rivera makes federal grant announcement in Red Hook Nov. 25, 2012 (credit: Jim Smith/WCBS 880)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced a federal grant to help get thousands of New Yorkers back to work in the superstorm Sandy clean-up effort.

The $27 million grant will help get 5,000 people back to work and help advance the recovery effort, the governor announced Sunday.

WCBS 880′s Jim Smith reports


The funds, provided by a National Emergency Grant, will help hard-hit communities quickly hire young people and the unemployed.

The counties helped by the grant are: Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester.

State Labor Commissioner Peter Rivera was in Red Hook, Brooklyn on Sunday to announce the six-month temporary jobs to those who are out of work or in need of clean-up and recovery.

“This is a neighbor helping neighbor effort. Local people, who don’t have jobs, helping out in hard-hit communities and getting paid for it,” Rivera told reporters including WCBS 880′s Jim Smith.

A man named Al was one of many who crowded around the sign-up table in Red Hook.

“My family needs help. This will really help us out,” Al told Smith.

The New York State Department of Labor is administering the funds and will work with communities to help deploy workers to job sites.

The state said the goal is to take two problems – storm clean-up and unemployment – and come up with a streamlined solution for both of them.

“Our primary target with these jobs is to employ young people and unemployed workers in these areas,” Rivera said.

1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reports


“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, Cuomo announced that the state has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to launch a local hire program to replace FEMA employees, often from out of state, with New Yorkers.

The goal is to put about 700 New Yorkers to work.

“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 in a release. “We will have a stronger recovery by having employees who are personally vested in its success.”

Anyone interested in applying for a job under this grant is encouraged to contact the Department of Labor at 1-888-4-NYSDOL (1-888-469-7365) or by clicking here.

Those interested can also visit a local Disaster Recovery Center or One-Stop Career Center.

Only young people and those currently employed are eligible for the jobs.

The work will cover cleaning and repairing damaged public property and structures. Workers will earn $15 an hour and be offered assistance in finding their next job, according to a release from the state.

Those interested in applying for a job with FEMA should visit Gov. Cuomo’s Jobs Express website by clicking here.

The full-time, temporary positions range from Community Relations Specialists providing outreach to the disaster-stricken communities, to administrative assistants.

Cuomo has directed labor department to immediately contact local public officials in affected localities to identify areas that need crews to assist with the clean-up. Local public officials may also submit information on projects and project sites to the Department of Labor by emailing sandyprojects@labor.ny.gov.

Since Sandy hit, storm-related unemployment insurance claims have jumped to nearly 50,000, according to the governor’s office.