Job licensing details trip up storm-displaced Puerto Ricans

Many of the tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans who have relocated to the U.S. mainland since Hurricane Maria struck last September are struggling to find jobs in their fields.

The hurdles include the absence of documents that were lost or damaged in the storm, state requirements that require additional training and applications for job licenses that can cost hundreds of dollars.

In states that have seen some of the biggest influxes of storm-displaced islanders, advocates and elected officials have proposed changes to help the teachers, hairdressers, medical technicians and others. In New Jersey, a legislative proposal would clarify that professional licenses from Puerto Rico should be given the same consideration for reciprocity as those from other U.S. states.