Posted September 05, 2018 06:27:10In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Army Civil Engineer Corps (AACEC) had a tough time finding qualified staff to help with the aftermath.
The corps had just two full-time staff members when Hurricane Harvey hit.
That’s why the Corps announced in early August that it would be laying off half its staff.
It had just one person in the Houston office working on the Houston area.
“We had no place to lay people off, and that was pretty much the last straw for a lot of us,” said Captain John Toney, one of the lead architects on the project.
The Corps said it was taking advantage of the fact that the Houston field office was already overwhelmed and the Houston offices staff was already on the road, and laid off half the staff.
But the Corps said there were no plans to keep the field office open past August and that it is planning to keep a full-timed staff at the Houston site until it is able to rebuild.
“This is the most challenging situation we’ve been in, so it is certainly not a good situation to be in, but we are working as hard as we can,” said Capt. John Tonye, one the lead engineers on the AACEC project.
“It’s a challenging situation to deal with, because you don’t know when you’re going to be able to find a job,” he said.
The Corps said the staffs laid off were due to changes to its recruiting criteria, as well as to a reorganization of its workforce.
It said it will continue to hire from within the Texas community to fill the vacancies.
It is also planning to hire new people, but will not have them come to Houston.
Capt. Tonyes plan to keep working on his plan to bring more people to the Houston headquarters, which will be the headquarters for the corps.
He is now looking for people to help him do this.