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Evacuees Start Looking for Jobs

Evacuees Start Looking for Jobs

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John Hollenhorst ReportingAlthough the first priority of many evacuees is to make contact with their relatives and make plans to rejoin them, for others the search is underway for another basic need -- jobs. Utah seems ready to help them.

One of the agonizing things about this situation is that no one knows how long it will go on. It could range from a few days, up to weeks or months. Who knows? Some historic some relocation efforts have taken years. But some evacuees aren't waiting around, they're looking for work.

The new life for some people from New Orleans may begin at a construction site in West Valley City. The Hadco construction company is one of many employers offering jobs.

Craig Watson, Hadco Construction: "It's a win-win situation. We have positions that need to be filled. I'm sure there's going to be people looking for work."

At Camp Williams state officials are setting up a computer database for jobseekers and they plan a job fair in the next few days. Some evacuees have already gone to work with temporary services. Others would take whatever they can get.

Reporter: "Are you eager to get to work?"

Chinita Chairs, New Orleans: "Very, very. We've already filled out applications for resumes."

Hadco even has a potential solution to one of the big problems; how to get the people from Camp Williams to their job sites.

Curt Stewart, Utah Workforce Services: "One of the main things we're really encouraging employers to do is to have their own transportation. Transportation is very difficult here right now because there's no UTA here."

Craig Watson, Hadco Construction: "We are very close to Camp Williams and there's a lot of our employees that do car-pool."

Work is important for the financial well-being of evacuees. But it may also help people who have been through such a terrible ordeal to get back on their feet psychologically.

Curt Stewart, Utah Workforce Services: "Living a normal life. So I think that's very important. It probably has a lot to do with their self-esteem and probably there's a factor of being cooped up for a length of time."

Some evacuees even have dreams of being self-employed. Not in Cajun country, but in Utah.

Germaine Rogers, New Orleans: "I'm gonna try to build my own restaurant here, New Orleans style, you know."

Right now no one seems to be worrying very much about records and paperwork. If people want to work, they should be able to line up something. State officials seem content to wait and worry later about the niceties and the legalities.

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