Sandy Could Prove Good for Jobless

Day laborers stand to benefit from the jobs created by Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by Zaira Cortez via EDLP)

Hurricane Sandy will likely end up creating an array of job opportunities for day laborers, contractors and drivers as the city starts to rebuild and get workers to and from work in areas without subway service, El Diario La Prensa reported. The article below was translated from Spanish.

While it isn’t yet possible to determine the total destruction that Hurricane Sandy left in its wake in New York and New Jersey, it is clear that job opportunities await those who work in construction, repair and transportation services.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared both states disaster areas. As a result, affected residents can apply for government aid to rent temporary housing, make emergency repairs to their homes, restore damaged property, and receive loans to save small businesses and cover losses in crops.

There will be a huge demand for skilled workers in the coming months, especially along the New Jersey and Long Island coastlines where serious property damage has occurred. This means opportunities for a large number of Latinos that work as day laborers, as well as contractors for federal maintenance agencies that will need an extra hand to finish the cleanup jobs in the streets and other public areas.

“I’ve already started calling my old bosses to see if they have work for me,” said Jaime Gómez, an unemployed worker who lives in Queens. “Although it might sound bad, this storm could also bring something good.”

Gómez said that opportunities await skilled workers who can change windows, repair facades, fix roofs, and clean flooded basements.

The suspension of subway service will greatly raise the demand for taxis. The New York Stock Exchange is hiring taxis for more than 200 of its employees so they can return to work.
“Work is waiting,” said José Domínguez, a livery cab driver who mainly works in the Bronx and Washington Heights. “You just need to go out into the streets and not take advantage of the people who need your services.”

Although bus service resumed on Wednesday, it is still uncertain when subway service will fully return. “It’s unbelieveable,” said Domínguez, “but I’m glad we have work.”

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  1. Pingback: Hurricane Sandy Update Oct. 30-Nov. 1 | OurChinatown

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