FBI holds job fair at HCC Conference Center

May 25, 2012 3:27:50 PM PDT
The FBI is on a nationwide hunt for people who speak foreign languages, anything from Spanish to Somali to Pashto.

In America's most diverse city, a job fair asking for people who speak foreign languages brings out more job applicants than anywhere else in the country.

"Houston is a very populated city, a very diverse city," said John Tolarski with the FBI.

The FBI Friday held a job fair at Houston Community College, a search for people fluent in other languages to help crack crime. In the first hour and a half, more than 200 people had come through the doors. About 500 total showed up to a similar job fair in New York City recently.

"After I read the requirements in the Internet, it sounded emotional, interesting," said Patty Herrera, who speaks Spanish.

The requirements: fluency in another language, U.S. citizenship, and a clean background check.

"We're responsible for protecting the United States whether from terrorist organizations, large-scale criminal enterprises, the Mexican cartels," said Tolarski.

Many people heard about the job fair through foreign language media.

"The information I got was from this Chinese newspaper, talk about FBI recruiting," said David Shieh, who speaks Chinese.

For some, like Shieh, it's an opportunity to serve the country where he's lived for decades, using the three Chinese dialects he speaks.

And for others, like Azar Usman, it's also part of a job hunt. The Urdu-speaking engineer lost his job five months ago.

"I was looking for a job and it looked like a good opportunity for me," Usman said.

They won't find out for months if they got the job, but if they do it's a chance to help the FBI adapt to change and keep America safe.

"I have to serve the country. That's how I feel," said Usman.

The FBI is looking for US citizens who speak another language fluently, who have lived in the US for the past few years and who can pass a strict background check. Friday's job fair ended at 5pm. There is another job fair in Dallas on June 16, and you can apply online, at www.fbijobs.gov.


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