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State Running Out Of Time To Use Federal Grant Money Towards Sandy Cleanup

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The federal government sent Connecticut enough money to hire 120 unemployed people for 20 weeks to work on storm Sandy cleanup and repairs, but 11 months later, only 24 people have been hired. The first worker didn’t come on until July.

And the deadline for using the money — $610,207 in all — is less than three weeks away.

More than 900 people asked the state about the temporary jobs when the opportunity was first announced in December. The state Department of Labor said then that the jobs would pay $15.50 an hour on average. Applicants had to be people who either had never qualified for unemployment benefits or had exhausted them.

When The Courant reported in April that not one person had been hired five months after the grant was awarded, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that the state would apply for a waiver to hire people to clean up its own parks, because towns, which were supposed to be the beneficiaries, had not requested any temporary workers for their public lands or to repair the storm-damaged houses of low-income residents.

Read more of Mara Lee’s article from the Hartford Courant here.

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