Business

Hiring immigrant workers workshop planned

Ag program expanded to include manufacturing

Iowa Workforce Development logo
Iowa Workforce Development logo

Iowa’s agricultural and manufacturing industries need employees and Iowa Workforce Development has a potential solution.

The agency’s Agricultural Recruitment System, or ARS, program connects employers with U.S. citizens as well as legally documented migrant and seasonal workers throughout the United States.

Potential employees use ARS to secure positions for up to nine months before moving to the next location, according to Santiago Cordero-Mendoza, Iowa Workforce Development’s migrant workers representative in the agency’s Waterloo office.

Originally a program to find seasonal workers for agriculture, ARS has been expanded to include manufacturing.

“Some of these workers prefer the migratory lifestyle, but more and more are wanting to settle down in communities to raise their families and take full-time positions,” Cordero-Mendoza said.

“The immigrant workforce are overwhelmingly honest, hardworking people who are thrilled to have a job in the United States,” said George Lake, Buchanan County Economic Development Commission director. “The Agricultural Recruitment System is run through Iowa Workforce Development, so employers do not need to be overly concerned about documenting that they are legal immigrants.”

The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission and Iowa Workforce Development will host an informational meeting for employers on the ARS program from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 19 at the American Legion, 205 Second St. NE in Independence.

Cordero-Mendoza will explain the program and how it can be used for manufacturing.

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Cost for the lunch-and-learn workshop is $10 per person. Buchanan County Economic Development Commission investors may attend without charge.

To register, call Lake at (319) 334-7497 or email director@growbuchanan.com with the company’s name and the names of those attending the workshop.

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