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‘Aggressive’ Actions Lose Hundreds of New Jersey Workers Possible Sandy Cleanup Jobs

Newark Star-Ledger (NJ) (11/12/12) Thomas Dinges

About 400 people lost out on part-time jobs cleaning up storm damage this week when Command Center Inc. pulled out of the project because of concerns over violence. The company acted after more than 10 incidents occurred that were considered threats to the safety of its clients and staff, says David Kehoe, company vice president. On the first day of hiring last week nearly 1,000 people showed up looking for jobs, says Michael Bright, president of the YMCA on Broad Street in Newark. The YMCA allowed Command Center to use the sidewalk outside its building as a base of operations and put out word of the job opportunities. Days later Kehoe told Bright the jobs would be canceled, because of the “aggressive” actions of some people looking for jobs. “A handful of people messed up an opportunity for a lot of Newarkers,” Bright says. Kehoe did not describe the threatening incidents, but says no one was injured. “The responsible thing [to do] is to end it,” Kehoe says.