Job fair focuses on Puerto Rico hurricane evacuees


There are new opportunities for hurricane victims from Puerto Rico now living in western Massachusetts.

A job fair was held Thursday in Holyoke, organized for those displaced and unemployed. Evacuees from Puerto Rico in western Massachusetts are still recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, many still looking for jobs.

"The job search really didn't get started off the bat because they had obvious other issues to address, but now it's picking up fast and furious," said David Gadaire, president and CEO of CareerPoint.

Evalishaa Freytiz is working on going back to school. Her husband is looking for work. He speaks only Spanish.

Freytiz told Western Mass News that relocating has been harder than they imagined.

"Leaving my kids, my family, all our friends, leaving everything the way it was trying to get better things for us...trying to come over here help our families over there who still don't have a roof, going without lights, water," Freytiz explained.

However, a new Massachusetts grant announced this week will help hurricane victims learn English and with the help of local non-profits like CareerPoint, evacuees will have better luck getting jobs.

"Since December, we've really been working on finding evacuee companies and trying to promote that as much as we can," Gadaire added.

On Thursday, a sixth job fair took place with MasterCorp, a staffing solutions partner in the hospitality industry.

Christopher Davey, the northeast regional director, said that they're looking for dedicated employees.

"We're looking for an individual that's committed. You don't need experience. We'll certainly train you, so we're looking for someone with the right temperament and attitude. We can do the rest, so if anyone has interest in the hotel or resort industry and want to get into this field, then we can train you and get up to speed with what we're looking for," Davey noted.

They're also open to English and Spanish speakers.

"I came here to find work, to provide for my family," said Amarilys, an evacuee.

MasterCorp plans to hire 20 employees for their two Massachusetts resorts.

Applicants who couldn't make it today can connect with CareerPoint if interested.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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