100 Alaskans sought to help hurricane cleanup

IRENE: First contract is for hurricane response.

August 26, 2011 

Kia Head carries Christian Searcy in her arms while protecting their faces from wind and sand blown in from Hurricane Irene in Tybee Island, Ga., Friday, August 26, 2011. Hurricane Irene is expected to pass off shore of coastal Georgia but officals are still banning swimmers for the water due to high winds and rough seas.


A Native corporation from a Yukon River village of fewer than 200 people is looking to hire 100 Alaskans and deploy them to the South in anticipation of cleanup work from Hurricane Irene.

Deloycheet Development Corp., a unit of the village corporation for Holy Cross, had planned to start a new line of business -- disaster response -- just as the hurricane began barreling toward the East Coast, according to Trudy Sobocienski, chief executive of Deloycheet Inc.

"Our first deployment will be for Hurricane Irene," she said Friday.

The company had initially thought it would provide workers to respond to flooding in North Dakota, she said.

The new hires could still be diverted to North Dakota if the hurricane fizzles, said Paula Bradison of The Growth Co., a partner of Deloycheet and the agency conducting the hiring.

Workers will be hired for 90 days and paid $12 an hour plus overtime, travel expenses and a per diem allowance, Bradison said. Alaska Natives will be given hiring preference, she said.

The unusual venture was developed by the board of directors of Deloycheet, said Sobocienski. She was hired as chief executive to implement the project, she said. The goal is to eventually have a large crew of laborers and skilled tradesmen like electricians and carpenters who can be deployed anywhere disaster strikes, she said. When they're not on emergency duty, the company hopes to have other projects to keep them employed.

"We want to make sure we have a stable work force that is ready to mobilize," she said.

While one subsidiary of Deloycheet, Holy Cross Oil Inc., is certified to get special federal contract breaks under the controversial Small Business Administration 8(a) preference, Deloycheet Development Corp. doesn't have that certification, Sobocienski said. For now, it operates using normal commercial bidding, she said.

Bradison said the plan is to send the Alaskans to North Carolina, where they will work under a subcontract for a larger employment company, One Source.

"They have multiple contracts all over the Lower 48," Bradison said. "They are a company completely dedicated to response."

Reach Richard Mauer at rmauer@adn.com or 257-4345.

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