In one of the few bright spots to emerge from superstorm Sandy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that a federal grant will put more than 5,000 unemployed New Yorkers to work on cleanup efforts.

The National Emergency Grant funding will go to counties hit hardest by the storm, including Westchester, Orange, Rockland, Ulster and Putnam, according to a news release.

Other counties included in the program will be the Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk and Sullivan.

The state Department of Labor will oversee the program, working with local governments to identify cleanup sites and sending workers to job sites.

Anyone wanting to apply for a job under the grant can contact the Department of Labor at 888-4-NYSDOL or by visiting

Cuomo also announced a program to replace Federal Emergency Management Agency employees, many of whom are from out of state, with an estimated 700 New Yorkers in temporary positions.

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To apply for those temporary jobs, view details online at

Storm-related unemployment insurance claims have risen to nearly 50,000 in the state, according to the news release.