A recent Capital Press article, “Washington can’t find any U.S. workers for H-2A farm jobs,” highlighted the fact that foreign labor is not being preferred over American workers.
There just simply aren’t any qualified American laborers applying for farm work.
Washington state’s Employment Security Department reported that they received a total of 112 applications for farm jobs
Far from the number necessary to fill the positions needed on farms in our state.
Of those 112 applications, Dan Zeitlin, director of employment system policy, told the Capital Press that most applicants were from out of the country and the others did not meet job requirements.
Farms have long been accused of giving preference to the H-2A visa program over domestic workers.
After the ESD released its report, the lawyer for an activist group expressed shock and disappointment while still insisting that local workers are out there.
Dan Fazio, executive director for WAFLA, an organization that connects Washington farmers with H-2A job seekers, said that even though COVID forced the closure of employment offices, ESD went above and beyond to get the message out that farms were hiring.
In addition to their online job postings, farm positions were advertised at job fairs, on radio ads, posters, and flyers.
Mike Gempler of the Washington Growers League, who also serves on a committee that advises ESD on farmworker recruitment told the Capital Press, “The agricultural industry has a responsibility to do a good job recruiting domestic workers, but it can’t recruit workers who aren’t there.”
Read the full article here: https://bit.ly/cap-press_esd-h2a