Christie Administration Commemorates Three-Year Anniversary of Sandy at Events Held Throughout the State

Governor Chris Christie and members of his cabinet marked the three-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy by highlighting recovery accomplishments during visits to sites hit hard by the storm that caused millions of dollars in damage.

New Jersey Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths, joined by Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff toured the National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt to examine restoration work completed by people hired through a National Emergency Grant (NEG) secured by the Christie Administration to assist in the recovery effort.

“We have come a long way in our recovery in the three years since Superstorm Sandy, one of the worst natural disasters in history, devastated numerous communities throughout New Jersey,” said Commissioner Wirths. “It is great to be here today to see the tremendous progress made with the assistance of the National Emergency Grant.”

The New Jersey Labor Department applied for and obtained a $15.6 million NEG just days after Sandy hit. The grant targeted unemployed workers hired to assist with temporary clean-up and recovery jobs in the aftermath of the storm.

The initial success of the NEG grant funding, which facilitated hiring temporary workers for Sandy cleanup, led Commissioner Wirths to spearhead an effort to apply for an extension and additional funding. As a result, in April 2014, a grant extension allowed funding to remain through the end of 2014 with another $3.6 million added to continue hiring unemployed workers in Sandy recovery projects. The federal extension on the NEG included a waiver permitting the funds to be put toward skilled repair work rather than just labor.

“In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, many New Jersey residents struggled to regain normalcy.  Like much of the state, New Jersey National Guard facilities were not immune from the storm’s devastation,” said Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff, the Adjutant General, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “The National Emergency Grant provided temporary employment for nearly 100 individuals to help restore our facilities and resume normal training activities.”

Ninety-one temporary workers helped to restore buildings and property around the National Guard Training Center including restoring artifacts located in the National Guard Militia Museum, which is housed on the grounds of the Sea Girt facility. The grounds of the training facility were flooded with six feet of water causing damage to memorabilia in the museum, as well as damage to plumbing, electrical fixtures, drywall, furniture, fencing and other structures. The grant helped to employ many veterans along with others to repair the facilities.

In total, the NEG funding was used to hire almost 1,200 temporary workers to complete projects throughout the Garden State. Workers were hired in positions ranging from unskilled laborers to project coordinators to data archiving specialists.

National Emergency Grants are part of the United States Secretary of Labor’s discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state’s ability to meet specific guidelines.

Related Articles: