Fair Lawn borough manager Tom Metzler has a message for dislocated and long-term unemployed residents registering for jobs through the county's One-Stop Career Center in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
As of Friday, Metzler had already hired six temporary workers to aid the borough's recovery efforts and has plans to bring on another three laborers and one clerk typist. So far, only one of the six workers hired has been a Fair Lawn resident.
"It would really be great if our own residents took advantage of it, if they've been out for 13 weeks," Metzler said of the county's program, which finds temporary Sandy-related cleanup and restoration jobs for dislocated and long-term unemployed workers. "If they call my office to let us know that they’re registering, I’m going to hold back [on hiring]. I would rather hire Fair Lawn people."
Through the back-to-work initiative, which is funded by a National Emergency Grant through the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development, municipalities can hire workers to perform storm-related cleanup and restoration jobs at no cost.
Fair Lawn applied for 10 positions -- three clerk typists and seven laborers -- that it expects to retain until April.
Metzler said one of the clerk typists who was already brought on will work in the Health Department and the other will assist in the planning office, the manager's office and the building department. The laborers will end up assisting the Public Works Department with outdoor cleanup.
Workers can make up to $12,000 during their six-month stint, and may be considered for full-time employment once their temporary job is up.
"If somebody leaves or you get somebody who’s really an exceptionally good worker, I can turn around to council and say, 'Hey listen, this might be somebody we want to hold onto,'" he said. "It’s a way to get your foot in the door and that's why I think it would really be great if our residents took advantage of it."
Interested workers should register with the county by calling Barry Lowe at 201-329-9600 x5527, and letting the borough know they are applying. The number for the manager's office is 201-794-5310.
In order to qualify for a position, workers must have either temporarily or permanently lost their job as a direct result of the storm or have been unemployed for 13 weeks or more.
Workers who aren't hooked up in Fair Lawn may have an opportunity to work in other municipalities throughout the county.