YAKIMA, Wash. — The United States Consulate in Nogales, Mexico, and Mexican state and local governments are sponsoring a job fair for Mexican workers interested in seasonal employment in the United States under the existing H2A guest worker program.
The Washington Farm Labor Association and three state tree-fruit employers will attend the event, scheduled for Feb. 11.
The association is the only Washington company currently invited to participate, said Dan Fazio, executive director.
About 3,000 Mexican workers have registered for the job fair, which is billed as the first of its kind. More than 40 American companies will attend, including those in construction, lawn care/landscaping, cleaning and agriculture, the association said in a news release.
Fazio’s group provides recruitment, training and other support to agricultural employers in the state.
Fazio said guest workers in past years have been drawn from southern Mexico.
The job fair is an opportunity to contact potential workers in northern Mexico near the border. Nogales is 60 miles south of Tucson, Ariz.
Fazio said the association filed requests for 4,547 guest workers last year, which was a record. The majority of the requests were for agriculture.
Fewer than 3,900 workers ultimately were certified because some applications were denied or domestic workers were located to fill some jobs.
The guest worker program allows employers to attract foreign workers if they can prove the domestic workforce is inadequate. The employer must pay a higher wage, transportation and housing.