NJ Hires Unemployed To Fix Sandy Damage In Parks

By KATIE ZEZIMA

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) â¿¿ New Jersey is hiring the unemployed to repair damage to parks and beaches caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Over the last two months the state has hired 700 unemployed residents and wants to employ 300 more during spring.

Labor commissioner Hal Wirths announced the program at Liberty State Park in Jersey City on Monday.

Money for the jobs comes from a $15.6 million federal grant.

Thirty five parks throughout the state sustained some type of damage during Sandy. Liberty State Park was among the hardest-hit, weathering a 15-foot storm surge from the Hudson River.

Crews including formerly unemployed New Jerseyans have hauled about 1,000 pounds of debris out of the park and are fixing a waterfront walkway.

New Jersey's unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, one of the nation's highest.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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