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FEMA to hold job fair Wednesday in Ponce

By on October 9, 2017

SAN JUAN – In order to ensure that areas with communication problems have an opportunity to learn about the jobs the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has available in Puerto Rico, the entity and the central government organized a job fair for Wednesday in Ponce.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and FEMA Caribbean region Director Alejandro de la Campa made the announcement at a press conference at the Convention Center in Miramar, which serves as the Emergency Operations Center (COE for its initials in Spanish), after Hurricane María hit the island nearly three weeks ago.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló speaks at the podium during a press conference. (Jaime Rivera/CB)

Although the specific site where the fair would be held was not announced, both officials said a similar event will eventually be offered in the metro area, as well as in the eastern and western regions of the island to spread the word regarding the opportunities available.

According to De la Campa, FEMA has received 27,000 requests through its website, although the agency only has about 2,000 jobs available on the island. It needs architects and engineers as well as logistics, operations and management personnel and even drivers.

At the moment, FEMA has more than 600 employees working during the emergency caused by the passage of Hurricane María on the island nearly three weeks ago. Meanwhile, the number Department of Defense (DOD) personnel in Puerto Rico exceeds 13,000.

Tarps arrive

Meanwhile, the governor said at least 30,000 tarps are now available to be distributed around the island to the thousands of families who lost their homes’ roof. The number of homes affected by the worst storm to hit Puerto Rico in the past 80 years is still unclear.

Some of the tarps were distributes at the Martín Peña Canal and the La Perla communities in San Juan. Last week, the island’s Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín, distributed hundreds of tarps in Manatí

Communications at slow pace

Although the majority of the Puerto Rican population continues to experience with communications, the government said 51% of the telecommunications service has been restored.

Barely two weeks after the hurricane, only 505 of the 2,671 (18.9%) cell sites are operating and 459 of the 1,619 (28.35%) telecommunications towers are operational.

Wireless providers such as AT&T have already placed mobile satellites to provide service while the antennas and towers are repaired. The next location will be in Utuado, because the first attempt Sunday was hampered by heavy rain.

In addition to re-establishing telephony, the governor said the government’s priority is to bring supplies to areas of difficult access, power hospitals and open schools to begin classes.

The governor said that on Oct. 18, the administration will analyze reports from more than 1,000 public schools to determine which may reopen Oct. 23.



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