Hurricane Irene Recovery ServicesIn response to the hardships imposed on thousands of New Jersey residents by Hurricane Irene, Governor Chris Christie and Commissioner Harold J. Wirths are inviting struggling businesses, displaced workers and residents recovering from the disaster to take advantage of the services available through the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD).
- Grant awards are available for businesses to assist with on-the-job training costs for new workers hired initially to assist in disaster-related activities, such as landscaping and tree removal, construction, insurance claims, building supply sales, materials transport, utility work, call and claims centers staffing, and infrastructure clearing and repair.
LWD has set aside funds from various sources to assist employers with the training costs associated with bringing on new workers. Employers will be eligible to receive reimbursement for the salary paid to new hires ranging from 25% up to a maximum rate of 100% of the employee’s salary for a period of three to six months, depending on your circumstances. LWD Business Representatives (http://lwd.state.nj.us/labor/employer/busres/contacts.html) can work with your company to identify candidates and complete paperwork for the employer. Contact Sharon Reiner at 609-984-3517 for more information and to connect with a Business Representative in your area.
- Business Resource Centers are conveniently co-located inside local One-Stop Career Centers across the state. These Centers can act as temporary hubs for businesses to access telephone and internet services (as well as for jobseekers and displaced workers seeking workforce development and unemployment assistance).
Businesses in need of a temporary business facility to continue operations or coordinate their recovery can use the Business Resource Centers (http://lwd.state.nj.us/labor/employer/busres/BRC_locations.html#1) to access telephone and Internet service. Business Resource Center staff can also connect small business owners with resources to assist with recovery, business plans and workforce needs. Contact Sharon Reiner at 609-984-3517 for more information.
- Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). Funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the assistance is being administered by the LWD. Most people left unemployed by Hurricane Irene should file for regular unemployment benefits.
The DUA, at this time, is available to people who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits, such as self-employed people.
To file for regular unemployment, please visit http://www.njuifile.net/
The Disaster Unemployment Assistance or DUA benefits are distinct from regular unemployment insurance. The DUA is available for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster.
On August 31, 2011, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of New Jersey to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas struck by Hurricane Irene beginning August 27, 2011.
Those eligible for DUA may also include:
(1) individuals who are unable to reach their job because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented by doing so by the disaster
(2) individuals who were to commence employment but were prevented by the disaster
(3) individuals who became the major support for a household because of the death of the head of household due to disaster
(4) individuals who cannot work because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster.
To file a claim for DUA, people must call a New Jersey Reemployment Call Center at: (201) 601-4100, (732) 761-2020 or (856)-507-2340.
For additional information regarding Disaster Unemployment Assistance click here.
Foe additional information on FEMA services please call the FEMA emergency number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. Information is also available via the Internet at www.disasterassistance.gov and www.fema.gov.
- Rapid Response team members can be dispatched to Disaster Recovery Centers to assist displaced workers.
LWD will dispatch Rapid Response Team staff (Unemployment Insurance and Re-employment Services experts) to designated Disaster Recovery Centers and will work with county and municipal agencies to deliver services to groups of impacted employers and workers as needed. Please call Irene Mason at 609-292-1630 for more information or to schedule Rapid Response Team services.
- The New Jersey Youth Corps is available to assist non-profit, public and governmental entities in a variety of ways for disaster relief and clean-up.
There are a limited number of New Jersey Youth Corps sites throughout the State that have equipment and Corps members trained and ready to respond to requests for brush clearing, tree removal, food distribution, assistance at shelters, and other related activities. Youth Corps teams are available in several counties and surrounding areas. For more information, please call Lynn Logo-Keepers at 609-292-2060, George Paffendorf at 908-619-4463 or Art Davenport at 609-226-6262.
- Community Work Experience Participants (CWEPs) are available to assist non-profit, public and governmental entities in a variety of ways for disaster relief and clean-up.
CWEPs can provide non-profit and public sector employers with a flexible resource for assisting with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. The CWEP program gives TANF recipients an opportunity to learn job skills in order to transition from public assistance to unsubsidized employment. CWEPs must work 35 hours per week. There is no cost to the employer and the CWEPs are covered by Workman’s Compensation. More information on the CWEP program is available from your County; click here for local contact information.
- The Entrepreneurial Training Program for the Unemployed (ETPU) is available to provide unemployed workers the option of pursuing self-employment while supported by up to 26 weeks of benefits.
ETPU provides Unemployment Insurance Claimants and UI Claimant exhausters with counseling, technical assistance and entrepreneurial training service in preparation for establishing their own business. Program participants are exempt from the UI Work Search Requirement. For more information on the how the ETPU program can assist workers impacted by Hurricane Irene, please contact Donald Forsythe at 609-292-2246 or Constance Moore at 609-987-8993.New Jersey’s Business Action Center is the lead resource for assisting Garden State businesses and has established a Statewide Hurricane Irene Business Recovery Assistance website at http://www.nj.gov/njbusiness/