When Hurricane Maria swept over Puerto Rico,Angela Hamburgo like thousands of other residents of the U.S. territory found herself without a job.
NEX Transport Vice President of Operations Tod Johnson, left, poses for a photo with new associates Melvin Marquez and Angela Hamburgo during move in day Friday inside Hamburgo’s apartment that overlooks the 100 block of north Main Street. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | REUBEN MEES)
The dental clinic where she worked was not able to reopen after the massive category 4 storm smashed into the island on Sept. 20, causing more than $100 billion in damage, leveling the island’s power grid and leaving all 3.4 million residents without electricity. Food was scarce and sources of income scarcer in the aftermath of the worst storm to strike the island.
Hamburgo, 33, decided to get off Puerto Rico and made her way with other refugees to Florida where she could stay temporarily with a cousin. But Florida was not home and the cost of living was high, she said.
“Florida is similar to Puerto Rico, but it is too expensive,” she said.
Regardless, she started looking for work and attended a job fair in Orlando where she came across an interesting option.
An Ohio company had sent representatives to Florida looking to hire workers, quite possibly those refugees like Hamburgo who wanted to start over in a new place to call home.
The company NEX Transport, based out of East Liberty, has expanded rapidly in the past year, and has been trying to hire about 100 workers, company Vice President Tod Johnson said. Locally, unemployment is low and those who wish to work can find employment, he noted.
He had already been considering Puerto Rico as a potential source of employees as unemployment is high on the island while the residents are already U.S. citizens.
Read complete story and more year-end news in Thursday's Examiner.
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