For Immediate Release:
Friday, November 2, 2012
Contact: Michael Drewniak
Trenton, NJ – The U.S. Department of Labor approved a $15.6 million National Emergency Grant to fund Governor Chris Christie’s plan to hire unemployed New Jersey residents to assist with Hurricane Sandy clean-up and recovery efforts in the Garden State.
The plan, submitted for federal funding by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development earlier this week, will give temporary jobs to unemployed residents through local government agencies that need to restore public lands and infrastructure. The USDOL has initially released $5.2 million of the $15.6 million approved. The USDOL will provide additional funding up to the amount approved as New Jersey demonstrates a continued need for the assistance.
“This plan offers another layer of aid to our hardest hit communities while giving some of our out-of-work residents an opportunity for temporary employment. Towns within the disaster area, along with some non-profit organizations, will be able to use the federal funding to bring added workers on to their clean-up and restoration efforts,” said state Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths.
The state Labor Department already has reached out to each of the ten (10) counties included in the federal disaster area declared in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to obtain estimates of the number of temporary workers they believe they could use. The state Labor Department’s preliminary application to the USDOL asked for funding of 1000 temporary workers.
Placement of the workers will not begin immediately. The individual counties must first identify relief, restoration and clean-up projects and determine how to deploy the workers.
National Emergency Grants are part of the U.S. Secretary of Labor’s discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state’s ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information on such grants, visit http://www.doleta.gov/NEG/.
The counties declared part of the federal disaster areas and eligible for this grant include:
What Does the Grant Do?
- Creates temporary jobs to assist in the clean-up and restoration of public infrastructure damaged as a result of this disaster.
- Temporary jobs may also include working on projects that provide food, clothing, shelter and other humanitarian assistance for disaster victims.
- The duration of these temporary jobs is limited to six months or 1,040 hours.
How much can Temporary Workers be Paid?
- A maximum wage of approximately $12,000 per worker, excluding the cost of fringe benefits.
- An additional amount will be available for fringe benefit costs associated with the hire, paid in accordance with the employer’s policies.
How is the grant implemented?
- All funding will be distributed to the impacted counties.
- The counties and towns may hire people directly through the state’s One-Stop Career centers and may also contract with private non-profit agencies and organizations to assist with disaster relief efforts
- The One-Stop Career Centers will assist in this effort by determining those individuals who are eligible to fill temporary jobs.
Who is eligible to be temporarily hired?
- Workers who have been temporarily or permanently dislocated as a result of the disaster;
- Eligible dislocated workers who are unemployed and not receiving unemployment compensation (UI) or other types of income support (such as WorkFirst NJ);
- Individuals who are long-term unemployed.
Job-seekers should report to local One-Stop Career Centers. They also may send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org , log onto www.Jobs4Jersey.com or call 1-877-682-6238 or 1-800-233-5005. Please be patient if lines are busy.
Additional updates may be found on the Hurricane Sandy icon at: http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/
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