oil spill jobs

There will be  job opportunities resulting from the the BP oil spill in the Gulf and other unfortunate crises.

by Stephen Hinton, Managing Director of Hinton Human Capital

The BP oil spill, considered the worse oil spill in US history, could end up killing the livelihoods of thousands of fishermen, restaurant workers, charter boat captains and tourism employees.  However, some people have found job and business opportunities as a result of this tragedy.  In coastal Louisiana, it’s reminiscent of the job boom that followed Hurricane Katrina as thousands were put to work cleaning up debris, gutting house and rebuilding public buildings and entire neighborhoods.

BP has spent $1 billion or more thus far in oil spill response initiatives and hired more than 25,000 cleanup workers that have already been hired by BP and its subcontractors.  The company will most likely be hiring thousands more workers as this thing continues through the summer.

Not only is BP hiring, but companies that are assisting with the Gulf oil spill clean up efforts are hiring as well. They are hiring biologists, chemists, project managers, engineers, technicians, laborers, environmental specialists and general clean up workers.   Dawn Kawamoto wrote  a great article on Aol.com where she mentions that hundreds more being put through 40 Hour HAZWOPER training for later deployment. The most interesting part of the article was her conversation with the owner of Granite Environmental, a company who makes pollution control equipment like oil booms and silt curtains specifically for situations like the BP oil spill. Granite was hiring more people in their manufacturing facilities across the US to meet the demand.  After I read the article, this question came to mind: Are new jobs being created in other industries by the oil spill outside of the  government responders and cleanup crews?

The Positive Ripple Effect

The answer is Yes. When a major disaster strikes, thousands of people are called in to clean up and rebuild the affected area. The convergence of this large group of people forces the businesses of the  local economy to step up and meet the demands of the new workers which means hiring more workers. There are many stories across the internet and in news media archives about the booms that followed Hurricane Katrina and other disasters. The BP oil spill will not be much different. Here are some of the local jobs that will be created because of the Oil Spill.

  1. Hotel/Motel & Lodging: Once the leak is capped, thousands more people will descend on the beaches of Alabama, Florida and Louisiana to assist in the cleanup. Each person will need a place to sleep. Hotels across the gulf coast will have to add staff to keep the hotels running at optimum service levels.
  2. Restaurants: 25,000+ workers times 3 meals per day minimum. You do the math.
  3. Retail/Grocery: Basic necessities will be needed by all.
  4. Freight/ Transportation/Trucking/: Expect hundreds if not thousands of trucks carrying everything from cleanup supplies to oil sludge on the highways everyday.
  5. Entertainment/Recreation: We cannot expect all of the cleanup workers be on the job 24/7. They need to blow off some steam.
  6. Local healthcare/Hospital: Oil spill cleanup is hazardous. There will a large number of medical personnel on standby to monitor the workers around the clock.
  7. Daycare/Childcare: Some of the cleanup workers will become two income families and will need childcare.
  8. Recycling/Sanitation: The clean up effort will generate more regular trash and recyclable debris. The local sanitation and recycling companies will see more work.

Looking Forward To A New Beginning

The residents of the Gulf coast have been through a lot of trials in the last 10 years. These new jobs will be a welcome shot in the arm to a struggling economy. Let’s hope that this situation moves into recovery mode soon.

To view 20 BP oil spill employment resources, visit the Green Economy Post BP Oil Spill Employment Resources Page.


Recommended Green Career Resource:
GET STARTED WITH YOUR GREEN CAREER - If you aren't sure where to start, what steps to take, or how to figure out where your skills fit within the green economy, Green Careers for Dummies author, Carol McClelland, PhD has a FREE six-day Get Started email series is a great place to start. Each message provides guidance, insights, and direction so you can figure out your next step. Jump start your green career now! It's Free >>.

© 2010, stephen_hinton. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

Line Break

Author: stephen_hinton (4 Articles)

Stephen Hinton is the Managing Director of Hinton Human Capital, an executive search firm that specializes in the Climate Change, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering markets. Hinton Human Capital also provides resume writing services that are uniquely focused toward the technical professional. His Hinton Human Capital Blog articles on green and infrastructure jobs, the job market and job search strategy have been featured across the internet on the following web sites: CivilEngineeringCentral.com, Green Economy Post, Linked In, Business Week Exchange, The Examiner and many more. He has also been featured internet radio shows and quoted in articles on the AOL web site, the Wall Street Journal, CareerJournal and Minority MBA Magazine.

  • Dave Flaat

    YOU ARE SIMPLY WRONG…. The Beach cleanup crews are unemployed locals. The loss of 30-50% of the tourist business will decimate Restaurants, Hotels, Beach vendors, etc. THERE IS NO WAY That the clean-up dollars will replace the invisible hand of the tourist economy.
    A Panama City Beach Local

    • http://www.hintonhumancapital.com Stephen Hinton

      Dave,
      Thank you for your response. I hear your anger and I empathize with you. However, here are some things to consider:

      First: You are right. The Oil Spill response is not going to equal the amount of money that tourism brings in. But the unemployed locals who accept these jobs will make more money than weekly unemployment payments.They will spend their new found money on the essentials and impact local establishments.
      Second: The locals will not have all of the expertise to cleanup the highly impacted areas.There will be an influx of federal government officials, BP contractors and volunteers who have direct involvement in cleanup. They will need essentials as well.
      Panama City Beach is not as contaminated as the shores of LA or MS so the economic impact may not have happened yet.

      Thanks for the comment
      SH

  • teresa fraczek

    IT IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT LOCAL RESIDENTS HAVE FULLTIME EMPLOYMENT, AND THE ABILITY TO AFFORD THERE FAIMLIES FINANICAL OBLIGATIONS & LIVELYHOOD. THE FLORIDA BUSINESS’S THAT RELY ON TOURIST ECONOMY PROVIDE ONLY PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT FORCING LAID-OFF EMPLOYEE’S, SURIVAL ON FLORIDA’S UNREALISTIC UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT’ AMOUNT.WHILE OTHER’S HAVE NO INCOME DUE TO EXHAUSTED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. HOPELESSLY WAITING UNTIL THE TOURIST SEASON HIRING RESTARTS. TOURIST TRADE BUSINESS MAKING ANNUAL PROFITS ARE NOT JUSTIFIED IF AND/OR WHEN IT’S COMMUNITY RESIDENTS ARE UNEMPLOYED SIX MONTHS A YEAR.

  • Derek Ballentine

    As a Career Specialist, i have tried to help 20+ clients with all of the necessary training (Hazmat, Hazwoper, OSHA construction, etc.) find work assisting with the cleanup effort. My people are not being allowed to do the work b/c we live in Knoxville, TN and aren’t GC residents. I totally understand wanting the majority of the cleanup jobs to go to the residents of the affected area first, but if there’s such a need for trained workers I don’t see the point in keeping these jobs off-limits for non-GC residents…does anyone know of a way my clients could land some of these jobs even though they live in TN?

  • chad

    with a turn over rate of over 40% you would think that they may consider bringing in those of us who have the experience to do this work, resident or not. They have been hiring people who want a pay check and then leave. Still needing more workers every week yet everyone thinks they should keep hiring localy? I have over 20 years in the maritime oilfield and have not been able to get a job for the last 6 months. I think it is high time they drop the “locals only” policy and get real workers involved so the job can be doen properly.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jeo007/blog/542641926 Chanel Propes

    It is important to first learn everything you can about OSHA HAZWOPER regulations. OSHA does not really have any specific requirements that certifies a person as an instructor. However, anyone can become a trainer, provided the person is well read in all those subjects that will help employees at hazardous waste operations who are i need of training.