The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has begun hiring hundreds of workers to begin post-Hurricane Sandy recovery work at NYCHA developments impacted by the storm. Their hiring was made possible by a $7.1 million National Emergency Grant from the United States Department of Labor. The workers, whose total will reach about 400, have a range of duties from Cleaner to Community Outreach Worker, including knocking on doors of the 19,000 residents directly impacted by Sandy to connect them to any services they may need. Many of the newly-hired workers themselves either lost employment as a result of Sandy, or were directly impacted by the storm; half of them hired so far are NYCHA residents. The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) assisted NYCHA in the hiring of prospective workers through its Workforce1 program. The temporary job program provides funding assistance for up to six months in response to significant dislocation events like Hurricane Sandy.
“NYCHA welcomes these new employees who will provide great assistance to our residents in returning their communities and lives to a safe living environment,” said John B. Rhea, NYCHA Chairman. “We appreciate our work with our partner-agency, SBS; and the National Emergency Grant has helped immensely in providing jobs for unemployed New Yorkers who can now assist their neighbors.”
“The temporary workers hired through this National Emergency Grant will perform repair, restoration, and outreach work at developments impacted by Hurricane Sandy, helping families and seniors regain full control of their lives,” said Cecil House, NYCHA’s General Manager. “We hope to ensure that every resident impacted by Hurricane Sandy has the services they need for their families’ recovery from the storm’s impact.”
“Using its expertise in recruitment and hiring, Workforce1 teamed up with NYCHA to put New Yorkers back to work and help the City continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy,” said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Thanks to NYCHA and the NYS Department of Labor’s National Emergency Grant, hundreds of New Yorkers will be reporting back to work this month.”
Dozens of workers began their jobs as Cleaners as early as Dec. 17, 2012, to assist in the cleaning and sanitizing of various developments impacted by Sandy. NYCHA and SBS estimate at least 378 people will be hired for the disaster recovery work. As part of the recruitment process, NYCHA’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability (REES), in partnership with the NYS Department of Labor and SBS, hosted pre-screening events for residents in Red Hook, Coney Island, the Rockaways and the Lower East Side to interview and process applicants to expedite hiring.
The New York City Workforce1 Career Center system provides the City’s adult workforce and businesses with a full array of employment and recruitment services including one-on-one meetings with jobseekers to review their resume, screen for jobs, and match them to available jobs.