Duluth, Minn. – When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) responds to areas affected by disaster, people from all over the United States come to help in the recovery efforts. Minnesota is no exception, with FEMA disaster reservists deployed from more than 30 states, from California to Connecticut, from Texas to New York and from Washington to Maine.
FEMA is also committed to hiring locally. Working with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, FEMA has expanded its disaster assistance team to include several people from the Duluth area. The hiring of local unemployed individuals provides FEMA and its state and local partners with skills and insight that enhances efforts to help communities affected by recent severe storms get back on their feet.
“FEMA recognizes the importance of helping others in their time of need. This includes helping some very qualified individuals in search of employment to be hired to help their communities; helping others get back on the job is a win-win for everyone, “said Federal Coordinating Officer Mark Neveau.
The positions filled by local hires range from administrative assistants to planning specialists, from media specialists to data processors to staff support. They receive introductory disaster response training and become an integral part of the recovery effort.
Corrie Voorhees of Duluth, an administrative assistant for the Command Staff, said “I’m just grateful for the opportunity. It’s going to be a great learning experience.”
Terry Bynum also of Duluth is a planning reports specialist. He’s also the former News Director with Channel 3 Television and more recently retired from the Duluth Schools as a library media specialist.
Bynum says “It gives local hires a window in seeing how the whole process works. I’ve already learned a lot about how FEMA gets involved in helping with disaster recovery.”
FEMA has hired 11 individuals to assist its staff of disaster employees at its joint field office in Duluth. They are among more than 200 applications received in response to an online advertisement posted on www.minnesotaworks.com detailing temporary, full-time work. The positions are in support of recovery efforts that are underway in the area struck by severe storms and flooding June 14-21, 2012.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.