WINDSOR, Conn. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has added Connecticut residents to its staff supporting Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
Hiring local individuals is part of FEMA’s overall recovery strategy.
“Local hires bring a great deal to the table,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Albert Lewis. “They have community insight and valuable work experience. Putting local people to work is an important part of FEMA’s impact on the local economy. Our goal is for Connecticut residents to make up 10 percent of our workforce.”
Connecticut hires are working throughout FEMA’s operations, including Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, Travel and Human Resources, Environmental and Historic Preservation, Logistics, Information Technology, External Affairs, Intergovernmental Affairs, the National Flood Insurance Program, Mitigation and the switchboard.
FEMA is still hiring in Connecticut. Interested job seekers should contact their local unemployment office or go to the Connecticut Department of Labor website www.connecticut.us.jobs. Type “FEMA” and “Windsor, CT” in the search boxes at the top of the page. A list of available local hire jobs will result.
Applicants must be fingerprinted and pass an FBI background investigation as part of the process.
Most FEMA workers are reservists — a cadre of on-call, trained employees who travel to a disaster location, complete their deployments and then return home. As reservists go home, the local hires keep recovery efforts going.
Clarigsa Echandy of East Hartford is working as a travel specialist helping reservists file expense reports. She “always wanted to work for the federal government, especially FEMA.”
“FEMA helps people when they need it most,” Echandy said. “And it’s nice to see how the reservists help each other as well the survivors out in the community. It’s like family.”
Portland, Conn., resident Sam Palfrey, who spent his career in financial service operations, is training as a Private Sector specialist. A relatively new program, Private Sector focuses on businesses, trade associations, academia and other non-governmental agencies as partners in preparedness, response and recovery efforts.
“It’s important to reach out to the business community,” Palfrey said. “One of our goals is to help business people understand what FEMA is doing and the importance of getting recovery messages out to their employees.”