Evacuees Search for Jobs

Now that the more pressing need for food, water and safe housing is over thousands of evacuees are seeking employment.

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In a large air conditioned tent in the parking lot of the Reliant Park complex about a dozen volunteers are helping evacuees look for work.

They're interviewing a few hundred people a day who are looking for jobs. WorkSource office director Carol Mitchener says the response has been higher than anticipated, both from job seekers and employers. They had 500 applicants on Monday alone.

Not all of the applicants come from the Astrodome. Myra Paz and her family evacuated New Orleans before the levees broke and are staying in a hotel. But she says that gets expensive and now they need to find temporary work while they wait for permission to return to Louisiana.

Area companies are quickly snapping up skilled workers, nurses, teachers and other trained professionals shouldn't have a hard time finding employment. But most of the people applying are looking for customer service, truck driving, and manual labor positions. But Mitchener says many of those spots are available and she's hearing a lot of optimism from the evacuees.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...