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Isaac Cleanup Provides Jobs For Chicago Residents

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Hurricane Isaac

Melanie Martinez (L) and family members salvage items from their flooded home in Plaquemines Parish on September 3, 2012 in Braithwaite, Louisiana. Martinez, along with her husband and mother, was forced to ride out the storm in the home when their car broke down. The house quickly flooded and they were rescued by a neighbor who was able to break into their attic to save them. This is the fifth home Martinez has had destroyed due to hurricanes in Louisiana. Damage totals from the hurricane could top $2 billion and more than 125,000 customers were still without power six days after the storm made landfall. (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — Recovery efforts for Hurricane Isaac on the Gulf Coast have created some job opportunities for residents of Chicagoland.

For the last few days, Evanston resident Nick Chastang has been working on the Westin Hotel in downtown New Orleans.

“Demolition work; pulling drywall off the wall” is his responsibility, he says.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Brandis Friedman reports

For Chastang, it’s the perfect job to gain experience, since he wants to work in construction management — but was having a hard time finding a job here at home.

“A lot of people were saying that they really wasn’t hiring right now,” he said.

Chastang is with a group of 84 young adults from Evanston and Chicago’s South Side, working on hurricane clean-up in Louisiana and Florida.

They were hired by a former Evanston resident, who now works with a company that sends workers into disaster zones.

“Some of them may not have the requisite skills necessary to work a full-time position in a corporate environment, and some of them may have records as well,” said Kim Jenkins of Evanston’s Youth and Young Adult Services Division.

Jenkins the opportunity provides the workers, many of whom are unemployed and lack many job skills, a chance to earn an income and job skills that can be used in the future.

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