NEPTUNE, N.J. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has expanded its local team of disaster assistance employees to support the Hurricane Irene recovery.
Hiring local individuals provides FEMA and its state and local partners with community-based skills and insight, enhancing federal efforts to help local residents affected by Hurricane Irene to get back on their feet.
“FEMA recognizes the importance of helping others in their time of need and this includes hiring some highly qualified individuals to help their fellow citizens,” said Federal Coordinating Officer William L. Vogel.
More than 75 individuals have been hired to assist FEMA and its staff of disaster employees. They were hired from more than 550 applications received in response to advertisements posted with the New Jersey Department of Labor, the New Jersey Department of Veterans Affairs, and local colleges and universities, detailing temporary, full-time work.
The advantages of filling open positions by utilizing the knowledge and experience of local job seekers is twofold.
“Hiring locally not only creates jobs for New Jersey residents, but also draws from the extensive talent pool we have in our state to begin the rebuilding and recovery process,” said Lt. Paul Miller, state coordinating officer for the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
Selecting local candidates from various backgrounds provides a valuable resource in FEMA’s efforts to aid survivors trying to rebound from a disaster. It also contributes to the local economy in the form of wages and payroll taxes.
The positions filled by local hires range from administrative assistants to environmental specialists, computer network specialists to cost estimators, logistics and planning specialists to bi-lingual community relations staff. They bring to the table not only local knowledge, but skill and experience in their professional work.
They receive training in FEMA’s three recovery programs – Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, and Hazard Mitigation – as well as the policies and procedures that govern them. They become an integral part of the recovery effort.