Agency for Workforce Innovation Warns Floridians About Oil Spill Job Scams (07/02/2010)

For Immediate Release 
July 2, 2010 

Contact:
AWI Communications Office
(850) 245-7130

Agency for Workforce Innovation Warns Floridians About Oil Spill Job Scams

~ Floridians reminded there is no charge to apply or train for jobs ~

www.floridagulfrecoveryjobs.com

TALLAHASSEE – Agency for Workforce Innovation Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo today issued an advisory warning Floridians to be wary of companies offering beach cleanup jobs for a fee. Recent reports indicate some Floridians have paid fees to submit applications or undergo training for oil spill-related jobs, only to later discover the advertised jobs were not available or the training not as described.

“In collaboration with Workforce Florida Inc. and Florida’s Regional Workforce Boards, we are working diligently to advance Governor Crist’s priority of connecting local job seekers with BP-certified contractors in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” said Director Lorenzo. “We encourage Floridians to visit floridagulfrecoveryjobs.com, a dedicated portal of the state’s official online job bank that offers free, convenient and secure online applications for confirmed response and recovery jobs.”

While BP’s contractors and subcontractors are responsible for hiring decisions and training, Florida’s workforce system is strongly encouraging these employers to hire unemployed local Floridians first for local response and recovery jobs. More than 10,850 recovery and response-related positions are currently advertised and nearly 31,000 people have been referred to positions through floridagulfrecoveryjobs.com, which was launched by Governor Crist last month.

Although some private companies are providing job opportunities in the recovery effort, job seekers should be aware that others may be exploiting the situation for personal gain. AWI and Workforce Florida Inc. encourage Floridians to:
  • Be wary of providing personal information such as social security numbers to unknown entities.
  • Recognize that there is no charge to apply for jobs through www.floridagulfrecoveryjobs.com, the state’s most reliable resource for response and recovery jobs.
  • Be cautious about traveling to job sites in different counties unless a position has been offered and accepted. Residents in counties impacted by the oil spill are receiving priority in hiring for cleanup and response jobs in their local communities.
  • Be wary of paying for training. Certified BP contractors do not charge for job training and in many cases pay the trainees.

Consumers who believe they may have been victimized by potentially deceptive or unfair practices related to oil spill jobs should contact:

  • The Attorney General’s Fraud Hotline at 1-866-966-7226, or
  • The Florida Department of Agriculture’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-435-7352, or
  • The Chief Financial Officer’s Consumer Helpline at 1-877-693-5236

Floridians with questions about available oil spill response and recovery jobs can call AWI’s dedicated hotline at 1-877-362-5034.

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