US Employers Looking To Recruit Jamaican Farm Workers

Photo: Contributed Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson (right), looks at something being pointed out on a local map by Manager at the United States-based Great Lakes Agricultural Services (GLALS), Bob Boehm (left). Looking on is Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Collette Roberts Risden. Representatives of GLALS, who are exploring opportunities to recruit Jamaican workers, called on the Minister at his North Street offices in Wednesday (November 18).

Story Highlights

  • Employers from the Great Lakes Agricultural Labour Services (GLALS) in Michigan are looking to recruit Jamaicans to work on their cherry and apple farms.
  • A two-member delegation from the organisation visited the island from November 16 to 18 for discussions with officials in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to explore opportunities for Jamaican farm workers.
  • The state of Michigan is the largest producer of cherry and the third largest of apples in the United States.

Employers from the Great Lakes Agricultural Labour Services (GLALS) in Michigan are looking to recruit Jamaicans to work on their cherry and apple farms.

A two-member delegation from the organisation visited the island from November 16 to 18 for discussions with officials in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to explore opportunities for Jamaican farm workers.

Manager at GLALS, Bob Boehm, said there is huge demand for workers on GLALS farms. He said the entity is looking at Jamaicans because of the “positive feedback received on Jamaican workers.”

Mr. Boehm was speaking during a courtesy call on portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, at his North Street offices in Kingston on Wednesday (November 18).

The GLALS representative said his company is also “intrigued” by the liaison services the Ministry provides, which will assist in addressing the needs of both employers and workers.

Dr. Ferguson welcomed the employers and assured them that the Ministry is “ready for business.”

“I pledge full support for this (initiative) and the staff here will work fully from our end to make a partnership work,” he said.

He noted that due to yearly recruitment activities, the Ministry has a pool of pre-screened workers from which the employers can choose.

During the three-day visit, the employers toured the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) and met with farming groups in Portland.

They also had discussions with staff at the Ministry’s Overseas Employment Services Centre.

The state of Michigan is the largest producer of cherry and the third largest of apples in the United States.

Last year, GLALS recruited 400 farm workers from Mexico. However, with the high demand for workers, they are looking to expand their recruitment to other countries.

GLALS’ parent company, Michigan Farm Bureau, is the state’s largest general farm organisation.

JIS Social