Getting Up to Speed with Guatemala H-2A Expansion
A couple of days ago, the White House posted an update on the Northern Triangle H-2A expansion program in which CIERTO is playing a big role.
The goal of the fact sheet is to promote some of the benefits of the program from the administration’s perspective, like the expansion of access to worker protection in Northern Triangle countries of origin, enhanced humanitarian assistance, and the improvement of worker outreach and compliance assistance.
So we thought this would be a great time to touch on our role in the program and to give an update on the progress we’ve made over the last few weeks as we’ve ramped up.
First of all, a quick reminder that qualified growers can get financial help to the tune of $500 per worker hired from Guatemala to help offset the logistical costs of recruiting in Central America.
Not that you need help with the math, but that’s $50,000 off your next 100 workers…
We’re able to offer the $500 / worker incentive thanks to a generous grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
Our Inaugural Training in Guatemala!
Tapped to Advise USAID
As far as our role in the program goes, the Administration requested that we create a pilot program that would incentivize growers and Farm Labor Contractors (FLCs) to ethically recruit more workers from Guatemala.
Our leadership in the growing movement for responsible recruitment of migrant farm workers uniquely positions us to successfully spearhead this project.
Our success making the positive business case for ethical recruiting under the framework of the H-2A program – without sacrificing the life-changing effect it has on the lives of workers – has allowed CIERTO to become widely recognized as one of the key farm labor recruiters working this side of the street.
In fact we’re the ONLY FLC asked to participate in the program in this capacity.
Our goal in working with the administration on this is to forge more legal pathways to bring experienced, dedicated workers to growers in North America.
Earlier this month, we celebrated the opening of our Guatemala office, and started hiring staff, including our new Executive Director for Guatemala, Johanna Bustamante.
Johanna has been working to get migrants to farm jobs in North America for 10 years, and is excited to help CIERTO expand H-2A operations from our new office.
The Guatemala team has already conducted a training session there, so we’re happy to be hitting the ground running!