PROVIDENCE – Several state agencies are seeking unemployed workers to help repair facilities in South Kingstown, Narragansett, Charlestown and Westerly that sustained damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced Friday that the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training is working with the Rhode Island Temps placement agency of Warwick to recruit unemployed veterans for more than three dozen short-term disaster relief worker positions at beaches and parks managed by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
These short-term, full-time jobs are financed through a Disaster National Emergency Grant awarded to Rhode Island in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Work assignments are anticipated to run from early March to mid-April. Job duties include moving beach sand, removing debris, performing trash pick up, installing snow fencing and raking campground sites.
While those unemployed for 15 weeks or more are eligible to apply for these positions, priority is given to veterans as well as to job seekers whose unemployment can be attributed to the October storm.
Unemployment insurance claimants with recent, related work experience will be notified of these temporary job opportunities by mail.
“This collaboration between the Department of Labor and Training and the Department of Environmental Management serves two valuable purposes: getting unemployed Rhode Islanders back to work this spring, and getting Rhode Island parks and beaches ready to enjoy in the coming months,” Gov. Chafee said in a statement.
He added, “We are particularly pleased to be able to offer work opportunities to our unemployed veterans in Rhode Island.”
Department of Labor and Training Director Charles J. Fogarty explained that the netWORKri career centers provide priority of service through the federal Workforce Investment Act. “Veterans make great employees,” he said. “Their military service has taught them important workplace skills, such as teamwork, dependability and problem-solving.”
Fogarty added that the department has also reached out to those collecting Disaster Unemployment Assistance due to Sandy and those listing storm-related reasons for their current unemployment.
“Getting our recreational facilities up and running for Memorial Day is a top priority at DEM, and for the millions of folks who use them during the warm weather,” DEM Director Janet Coit said in a statement. “We are so grateful to Director Fogarty for this collaboration, which boosts DEM’s efforts at just the right time. What a great opportunity for DEM to have the assistance of dozens of temporary workers to repair damages to our state beaches, parks and campgrounds from Hurricane Sandy and to bring them back to good condition for the enjoyment of all. We are eager to get started, and will press forward with renewed vigor and an expanded team due to this special grant opportunity.”
Work sites approved at this time include Roger Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett; East Matunuck State Beach in South Kingstown; the Charlestown Breachway, East Bay State Beach and Burlingame State Campground in Charlestown; and Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly. More work sites may be added as additional needs are identified. While the majority of work sites are affiliated with the Department of Environmental Management, municipal sites may also be eligible for assistance.
Rhode Island residents who have been unemployed for 15 weeks or longer and are interested in applying for these job opportunities, may send their résumés to Sandy@RITemps.com . They may also call 781-8400 to schedule an appointment. Applicants will be asked to provide two forms of identification and a current BCI check.
RI Temps was chosen as the placement agency for the National Emergency Grant through a Request for Proposal process.
Many of DEM’s facilities sustained major damage from Hurricane Sandy. Among those most affected were state beaches including Misquamicut, East Beach, East Matunuck and Roger Wheeler. Significant erosion and breached dunes as well as damages to buildings, walkways and railings also impacted many beaches and beach facilities. Similar damages were reported at East Beach, Charlestown Breachway and Burlingame Campground. Burlingame State Campground had more than 300 downed trees, damaged campsites, and lost one cabin due to a fallen tree.