Thousands of Puerto Rican evacuees pack Osceola County job fair

By: Mike Manzoni

Updated:

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Osceola County is helping Puerto Rican evacuees find work in their new home.

Thousands of Hurricane Maria evacuees packed a job fair Friday.

The Osceola County Job Fair ran from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Osceola Heritage Park.

Nearly 200 people were outside in the morning waiting for the doors to open.

The more than 60 employers at the fair included the hospitality industry, health care, construction and more.

Officials: Thousands of Puerto Ricans evacuate to Orlando

Luis Arroyo’s home was destroyed in the storm and he doesn’t plan on moving back to the island. He attended the job fair with his wife.

“I hope to find a job, like at Disney or in landscaping or anywhere. I just want to get a job,” Arroyo said. “I’m staying here. This is my long term, and I want to move here. I want to build a house.”

Arroyo had a chance to talk to dozens of recruiters. 

Several companies hired people on the spot. 

“It’s been a lot harder than I expected,” said evacuee Emanuel Munoz, who left Puerto Rico three weeks ago.

He started looking for a job when he landed in the U.S.

For weeks he has no luck, but on Friday, that may have finally changed.

“They liked my resume, and they said ‘We’ll call you,’” Munoz said.

County officials said because of the large turnout, they may hold another one next year.

The county’s Human Resources department will offer two free workshops to help with resumes and interviewing skills.

The county’s Hurricane Maria Reception Center on Beaumont Avenue in Kissimmee is also staffed with representatives to help with resources for evacuees, including healthcare, education, job placement and food stamps.

It operates 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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