Major companies willing to hire Puerto Ricans fleeing into Central Florida

Up to 100,000 Puerto Ricans expected to move to area after Hurricane Maria

ORLANDO, Fla. – From Lynx Transportation to Walt Disney World Resorts, companies all over Central Florida are offering jobs to some of the 100,000 Puerto Ricans expected to make the move and rebuild their lives in Central Florida. 

"I felt so relieved, but at the same time, it's hard," said Gianna Alvelo as she held a handful of supplies at Orlando International Airport. 

Alvelo, 19, is the mother of a 3-month-old son. She just arrived in Orlando from Puerto Rico. Though she didn't want to leave Puerto Rico she said with no food, no water and power, she had no choice. 

 "I was crying and it was my mom's only grandson so she is heartbroken too," Alvelo added. 

Being 19, she wants to go back to school, but in the meantime, she said she needs to find a job. That is why the moment she got off the plane she went to the state's Disaster Relief Center for answers. 

There, Lynx Transportation has a booth informing people like Alvelo what public transportation they can use, but Lynx is also there to offer job opportunities. 

"We have both white collar and blue collar jobs," said Tiffany Homler-Hawkins, Lynx Transportation's Chief Administrative Officer. "We are constantly hiring for bus operators, anywhere from 40 to 50 of them. We also have about seven administrative positions, anywhere from director of risk management to senior transportation planners." 

Orange County Public Schools is also in need of teachers, food and service staff and even bus drivers. Not only are they enrolling students at OIA, but they are also recruiting qualified and bilingual Puerto Ricans rebuilding their lives. 

"You want to match the demographic so if the families and the students are bilingual, you also want teachers who are bilingual," said Jaclyn Velez, with OCPS. "We just want to be able to provide some stability and getting them back to normal,  getting them a position and hopefully they can get their life back to what they are accustomed to."

The City of Orlando said Universal Studios is also hiring with 3,000 positions open. Walt Disney World as well said it is hiring, some positions even come with hiring incentives. 

"Disney is actively recruiting for 2,500 full- and part-time positions, in areas such as Food & Beverage, Transportation and Housekeeping. In addition, we are offering a new hire incentive ranging from $500 to $1,500 for select positions," a Disney spokesperson wrote in an email. 

In addition to that, there will also be a job fair at The DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando on Tuesday, Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be hosted by Job New USA and Diamond Resorts International where Bilingual and Spanish job seekers will have assistance available. There will also be a free computer lab and resume assistance provided by CareerSource of Central Florida. 

Dozens of companies will be recruiting for several positions during Tuesday's event, including the following:
•Diamond Resorts International
•Orange Lake Resorts / Holiday Inn Club Vacations
•Aarrow Inc.
•ABC Fine Wine & Spirits
•AFLAC Reg. Office of Steve & Lisa Perry
•Applied Contracting Services, Inc.
•Bags, Inc.
•Bluegreen Vacations
•Career Source Central Florida
•CNS Healthcare
•DeVry University
• Disney
• Everglades University
•LaSalle Computer Learning Center
•Marriott Vacation Club
•Massey Services
• Mears Transportation Group
• New Horizons Computer Learning Center
• On Call International
• Spectrum
• Spectrum Direct Sales
• Turner Pest Control
• Universal Orlando Resort
• US Health Advisors

Job seekers can click here to register for the event.

SeaWorld Orlando said the company is also accepting applications.

"The Central Florida community is an integral part of the SeaWorld workforce and family, regardless of how long they’ve called Orlando home. SeaWorld will be offering a variety of positions for our upcoming Christmas Celebration event," a spokeswoman said.

To apply for a position at Lynx Transportation, click here

To apply for a position at Orange County Public Schools call the Human Resource office at 407-317-3200, ext. 2002578, or click here

To apply for a position at Walt Disney World, click here

To apply for a position at SeaWorld, click here.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is also helping employ those coming in, for more information visit www.employflorida.com

Families from Puerto Rico can also go to the OIA  for one-stop help at the Disaster Relief Center for any help they may need. It will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every day until at least until Sunday.

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