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Fed grant to put 1,400 jobless to work on Sandy recovery

A woman makes a cell phone call amid

A woman makes a cell phone call amid debris on Atlantic Street in Lindenhurst. (Nov. 1, 2012) Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

A $14 million federal grant to clean up Long Island and New York City after superstorm Sandy will help hire about 1,400 jobless New Yorkers, officials said.

The state will be eligible for another $14 million if it shows the money is needed for continued work on the recovery in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City, the U.S. Labor Department said.

"This Labor Department funding is one part of the federal government's collaborative efforts to offer immediate emergency assistance as the long process of cleanup and rebuilding begins," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in a release about the grant award.

The federal grant will go the New York State Department of Labor and will take at least a few days before it is used to hire unemployed workers for temporary jobs in the storm clean up and recovery, said Max Young, a spokesman for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

"This federal funding will deliver a one-two punch in New York's efforts to recover from Hurricane Sandy, by investing in cleanup and recovery efforts and putting 1,400 New Yorkers to work," Schumer said in a statement.

Under the grant, people can be hired if they have been out of work at least 26 weeks or if they lost their jobs due to the storm, Schumer's office said.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said the emergency grant will clean up millions of homes, businesses, roads and bridges.

"This is a smart investment to put New Yorkers back to work cleaning up our communities and helping their own neighbors," Gillibrand said in a statement.

The workers can be used to demolish, repair and reconstruct public facilities and lands. They may help deliver humanitarian aid and assist authorities in protecting communities most affected by Sandy.

Also, the funds may pay workers to upgrade the homes of economically disadvantaged residents who are eligible for the federal weatherization program, with priority given to seniors and the disabled, the two senators said.


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