(San Juan, P.R.) – In order to maximize the benefits of its programs, the Department of Housing announced the Meet and Greet initiative, which allows interested individuals, organizations, entities, and contractors to discover employment and hiring opportunities available under the CDBG-DR funds.
Meet and Greet is a virtual networking event that takes place monthly through the Microsoft Teams platform. Each session will create a unique space for those seeking employment, while also allowing businesses to meet monthly in search of potential talent to hire personnel.
“This is an initiative that offers great benefits for all involved. We’ve organized this effort in such a way that it will allow contractors and subrecipients to offer employment and hiring opportunities to Section 3 businesses and individuals, as well as to local businesses certified as minorities and those led by women. It is another way in which our agency is contributing to our island’s development,” said Luis Fernández Trinchet, the secretary of Housing.
As part of the dynamic that takes place during the virtual gatherings, which is freely accessible, local businesses will have one minute to present their business and share their contact information. This will allow MWBE and Section 3 businesses and individuals to learn about potential employment and hiring opportunities, and about other important details about the participating businesses.
The Section 3 federal regulation from the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 guarantees that, under programs with federal fund allocations, economic opportunities such as employment, training, and hiring will be directed towards public housing residents, low-income and very low-income individuals, and businesses offering opportunities to these groups.
For her part, the director for the Department of Housing’s Section 3 and MWBE program, María Del Carmen Figueroa, explained that “we’ve already held three sessions and the number of participants has increased with each one. We meet one Friday each month, at ten in the morning. Both interested individuals and businesses have used their creativity with virtual presentations to share the most important information in a brief and concise manner.
This initiative’s next sessions are scheduled for November 20, December 11, and January 15, 2021. Individuals and businesses interested in participating can use the access link on the CDBG-DR Puerto Rico website and Facebook Page.
Joining the gathering’s effort are the placement offices of universities and technical colleges, work associations, organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Puerto Rico Minority Supplier Development Council and Small Businesses Administration, as well as Section 3 businesses, non-government organizations, subrecipients, subrecipient municipalities and the Department of Housing’s direct contractors, among other groups.
“We want everyone to know about the benefits of this Program, especially college students, those are unemployed because of COVID-19, public housing residents, and employees whose income is bellow $29,400 because these are the profiles that the Section 3 federal regulation seeks to impact,” pointed out Figueroa.
She also added that they have already identified some success stories that have resulted from previous sessions, which is why they will soon be sharing them so they serve as motivation to other individuals and businesses that still don’t know the initiative’s scope.