Managers were working overtime to train new workers.
Even months after Hurricane Rita struck, large and small business was frantically trying to find workers so that they could start up again.
Almost every business in the town had a ‘Help wanted sign out front. One can get the job easily and could command a premium salary. There was a huge shortage of workers in the local area. Restaurants that normally open late into the evening closed at 6.00 PM. Restaurants that remained open often had a much younger staff, and the managers and assistant managers were working overtime to train these new workers.
Hurricane Rita is a typical in a disaster. It virtually destroys the normal life of the area. After Rita struck Lake Charles, in southwest Louisiana, massive destruction was everywhere. Lake Charles, known for its large and beautiful oak and fine trees, then had the job of removing those downed trees. The town grew rapidly in size because of the large number of debris and repair crews working on recovery operations. Traffic was unbelievably slow. Often police did not have the resources to ticket every fender, so unless there were injuries, insurance cards were exchanged and the police went on to the next accident. The whole situation reflects the gravity of the disaster.
International Forest Products Company (IFP) is the largest employer in Ouachita County, Arkansas, and is an important part of the local economy. As a cost-cutting move, company decided to cut the workforce by 30 percent, and the responsibility of submitting the suggested plan was entrusted on Scott Wheeler, the human resource director by Janet Deason, president of the company. It was difficult task. Aside from the influence on the individual workers who were laid off, cutbacks would further depress the areas economy.