The U.S. Small Business Administration's disaster assistance office in Buffalo is temporarily expanding its workforce to assist individuals and business owners affected by Tropical Storm Harvey.
The Buffalo office plans to add dozens of temporary positions, paying $16 per hour, to process requests for federal disaster-assistance loans. Although they are not considered permanent positions, those hired may be able to stay on the jobs for several months or longer, depending on the demand.
"We are looking to hire 50 to 60 agents," said Colleen Hiam, who directs the Buffalo office. "They are temporary positions. However, after Hurricane Katrina, and I compare to that because we're expecting this to be on that level or even greater, some of these folks stayed on for one, two and up to three years helping us with our disaster relief efforts."
Hiam says those hired will work 10-hour shifts and weekends in order to keep up with the anticipated large volume of calls expected from southeast Texas, where continuous rain has flooded entire communities and left individuals and businesses devastated.
Interested candidates should be experienced with computer programs including Microsoft Office and other data-entry systems.
Applicants may email a résumé to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 716-843-4290.
Hiam suggests applicants have a sense of empathy, as they'll be communicating with people whose lives have been turned upside down.
"And we make sure that our agents have time to de-stress, get their breaks, get their lunches, talk with one another," Hiam said. "It's a very friendly-type atmosphere downstairs. People love to be able to help one another."