HIRED LEARNING: Cynthia Lewis – Opportunity Born of Hurricane Sandy

By Frances ChavesCynthia
Cynthia Lewis landed as a Voluntary Agency Liaison Specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Joint Field Office in Lyncroft, New Jersey.
On October 29, 2013, Hurricane Sandy slammed into New Jersey, causing more than $24 billion of damage. FEMA ramped up to meet the exploding need for its services in New Jersey.
Cynthia’s sister-in-law, a FEMA employee, forwarded her resume to a local hiring manager, who then forwarded it to various offices.  She was interviewed and then underwent security and background checks. One week later, Cynthia received a phone call asking if she could start the next day, assisting nonprofit organizations aiding people who have exhausted all their other funding options.  Her experience working in corporations helped Cynthia hit the ground running.
At the beginning, Cynthia worked six days a week, ten hours a day, helping people in need.  She loves the job (now down to 40 hours a week) and hopes the 120 day assignment will be extended.
Through her two-and-a-half year transition Cynthia attended PSGCNJ’s general membership meetings and worked actively on the Events and Marketing Committees. She credits PSGCNJ with helping her land, building her confidence, and honing her interview skills.  She developed the resume she uses at PSGCNJ and she benefited from networking and staying connected with her peers.
Cynthia recently made a generous contribution to PSGCNJ, saying, “Without organizations like PSGCNJ, it would be much harder for mature job-seekers to transition to our next jobs. This is a critical time in PSGCNJ as it transforms itself into a vibrant, volunteer-run non-profit, independent of the Department of Labor. I try not to forget those who help me!”
PSGCNJ thanks Cynthia for her tireless efforts on behalf of PSGCNJ and its members.

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