What does the program cost?
Agricultural employers must pay employees a minimum starting wage of $7.25 per hour (Federal Minimum Wage) and provide modestly furnished housing with utilities included. Some employers opt to pay higher than Federal Minimum Wage. We will recommend an appropriate hourly wage according to employee work experience and regional wage trends. We charge set-up, placement, and service fees depending on the level of service provided.
Do the individuals placed by your program have previous work experience?
Many prospective employees have previous experience working various jobs depending on their skill levels or opportunities. Many agricultural prospects have worked in farming or with animals in their home countries. A few have worked with us previously on dairy operations in the U.S., but several have no experience on a modern dairy operation. We are professionals in selecting and training dairy farm employees and can guarantee your satisfaction with your new employees.
How will I communicate with them?
Our experienced, qualified team members are available and trained to respond to communication needs through on-site visits, phone calls, and written translations in Spanish. For dairy operations, a bilingual handbook with commonly used agricultural terms for both employer and employee is provided for your convenience. Over time, employer and employee learn new vocabulary in each other’s languages, which helps break down the language barrier. A few basic words along with appropriate gestures go a long way.
How long does it take to get them to my operation?
Once we have an official employee request from you, we generally are able to select, locate, and transport the chosen individuals to your operation within 2 weeks of the request date.
Are they legal? How long can they stay in the U.S. and work?
APS guarantees we will examine prospective employee work authorization documents. If they appear genuine and represent the bearer as required by law, APS will complete the necessary paperwork (W-4, I-9, contracts, etc.) as required by your state and the federal government. The federal government is required to determine if employee work authorization documents are official. They may work in the U.S. until their permanent resident card or resident alien card expires—usually several years.
What else am I required to provide for them?
Along with the housing, we ask employers to provide a telephone, TV, and Spanish cable/satellite programming equipment. Since your employees have no vehicles, they should be taken on weekly errand trips for buying groceries, cashing paychecks, and visiting the post office or laundry facilities.
Are they allowed to drive vehicles?
Although some of your employees may have a valid driver’s license, they typically do not have vehicles. In addition, we strongly recommend that they not drive any vehicles off the premises.
What do I do for healthcare if they get sick or injured?
Reachable migrant health clinics or medical/dental offices that provide a sliding-fee scale for low-income families are available in most areas. If employees are injured on the job, Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage should pay for the healthcare costs.
Are they reliable? How do I know they will show up for work every day?
Most prospective employees have traveled a great distance and invested heavily in the opportunity to find good jobs to support their families at home or abroad. What drives them to be reliable is a better quality of life for their families, a strong work ethic, and a desire to please their employers.
How are they trained to work at my operation?
We have many years of experience in agricultural employee placement and are prepared to assist with training your employees at your operation during their first week of work. In addition, we recommend selecting an experienced employee to work with the new employees to support their learning and encourage their progress.
How quickly can an employee be replaced if one leaves or is fired?
All employees are required to sign an agreement promising to notify us 3 weeks in advance of their anticipated departure date allowing us ample time to recruit a suitable replacement as well as allow for employee overlap for training purposes. Sometimes advance notification is not always possible when an emergency arises, a sudden change occurs, employees are fired or abandon the job for various reasons. In most cases, we are typically able to recruit and place replacement employees within 2 weeks or less.
Can I use the H-2A visa program to obtain employees through APS?
The federal Department of Labor has ruled that regular day-to-day work on dairy operations does not qualify for the H-2A visa program because the work is not seasonal nor temporary. Seasonal field work, however, may qualify.