BP immediately hiring 300 oil cleanup workers in Florida Keys; Must be ready to report for duty within 12 to 18 hours

Thursday, July 8, 2010
By Paul Martin

July 8th, 2010

Local oil spill responders sought, Key West Citizen (Subscription), July 6, 2010:

BP and Florida oil response officials want to establish a group of 300 trained people in the Florida Keys to perform shoreline cleanup activities if oil ever reaches the area.

There was no imminent threat [as of] Monday of oil reaching the Keys, but there was a need to identify resources and train people who can then respond immediately, BP spokesman Andrew Van Chau said.

The Florida Peninsula Command Post said the workers, called “qualified community responders,” will be trained for tasks including shoveling debris, cleaning rocks, operating front-end loaders and power washers.

The crew will be paid — Van Chau did not know how much — and trained at the cost of a private company hired by BP.

The crew will be split throughout the Keys, with 100 in the Upper Keys, 100 in the Middle Keys and 100 in the Lower Keys.

Plant Performance Services (P2S) will oversee the workers and recruit them through the South Florida Workforce employment program, Van Chau said.

There will be a focus on recruiting people who are currently receiving unemployment benefits.

Applicants must submit to a criminal background check and drug screening, and be able to prove they live in Monroe County.

Crew members must be ready to report for duty within a 12-to 18-hour window of notification.

They must be able to do physical labor such as handling and carrying heavy materials and supplies, raking, shoveling, removing trash, operating mechanical equipment and cleaning oilcovered items such as rocks and other elements on the beach, Van Chau said.

There will be four, 24- or 40-hour mandatory training sessions, with the level of required training depending on the crew member’s specific role. Training will include safety and proper handling of hazardous waste materials.

BP and P2S have been in discussions with the Florida Keys Community College to provide the training, Van Chau said.

The college already has been offering its own hazardous materials handling courses.

The plan came out of discussions between BP, the Coast Guard, Monroe County emergency management officials and other government agencies, which have been reviewing contingency response plans.

To apply, contact South Florida Workforce in Key West at 305-292-6762 or in Key Largo at 305-853-3540, or apply in person at the Key West One-Stop Career Center, 1111 12th St., Suite 308, or the Key Largo One-Stop Career Center, 103400 Overseas Highway, Suite 239.
Another report states an employment agency is informing qualified individuals of a meeting for prospective cleanup workers at the Holiday Inn in Key Largo on July 8 at 7am.

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