Nine towns in Essex County are getting a helping hand in post-Sandy recovery efforts thanks to a nearly $421,000 federal grant that will create 105 temporary jobs.
The money—awarded to Belleville, Bloomfield, Caldwell, Fairfield, Irvington, Livingston, Nutley, East Orange, Orange, the East Orange Water Commission and the Essex County government—is part of $15.6 million awarded to New Jersey by the Federal Hurricane Sandy Disaster National Emergency Grant. It will be used to fund 1,300 jobs in 16 counties across the state.
"The intent of the funding is to allow government agencies to hire unemployed people to help the state, counties and towns in their clean-up efforts,” said Harold J. Wirths, commissioner of the state's Department of Labor and Workforce Development, through which the grant is allocated.
The temporary jobs, some of which begin this week, were filled by Essex County residents and many will work in the towns they live in. Their job duties will include cleanup, demolition, repair, renovation and reconstruction of public structures and land.
The Borough of Caldwell received funds for two workers.
County residents who are currently unemployed were eligible for the temporary positions.
Sandy swept through the area a little more than a month ago, leaving in her wake a mess of power outages, downed wires and fallen trees, most of which has been already cleaned up, said Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr.
"We're doing pretty well, we made a lot of in roads as far as cleanup," he said. "In all our parks, there have been trees and debris, which 80 percent has been cleaned up."