Workers are young and productive”From class surveys, we’ve seen that some of these Hispanicworkers have technical school or college degrees,” Martinez said.”Most are young, single and in the prime of their productivity.They can easily work 14 hour days at strong, labor-intensivework.”Most say they’re in the United States to work so they can sendmoney back home to their families. Their goal is to return home.”Regardless of why they’re here, they’re here and working in avital industry, and they need to be trained,” he said.Fonseca, who began training Hispanic landscape and greenhouseworkers as a Cherokee County extension agent, said the trainingneeds are great.”The poultry industry in the state has the need, too,” he said.”The majority of their workers are now Hispanic.” By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaA $105,000 Occupational Safety and Health Administration grantwill help University of Georgia faculty members accomplish whatthey’ve been trying to do on a shoestring budget: train thestate’s Hispanic landscape workers.OSHA’s Susan Harwood Training Grants focus on improving workers’on-the-job safety records. Plant pathologist Alfredo Martinezserves as the project director for UGA.The project is aimed at reducing equipment- and driving-relatedinjuries and the misuse of pesticides and unnecessary exposure tothem. 75 percent of the work force”Of the 65,000 workers in the state’s green industry, 75 percentare Hispanic,” Martinez said. “As three-fourths of the work force,Hispanics are the backbone of this industry.”The turf, ornamental and landscape companies that make upGeorgia’s green industry are among the fastest-growing in thestate.And the trainings don’t just help those companies and theirworkers. It’s important to everyone around them that theseworkers are trained to work safely, Martinez said.”Every day,” he said, “they’re mixing chemicals and using heavyequipment and tools with rather limited training.”Business owners are eager to have their Hispanic workers trained,he said. The lower insurance premiums and other benefits ofreducing accidents are easy for them to see.Martinez, horticulturist Marco Fonseca and other UGA colleagueshave trained Hispanic workers for years through programs in theUGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Bilingual training materials”We plan to develop more in-depth trainings that include manualsin both Spanish and English,” he said.The HSG specialists plan to train both the Hispanic workers andtheir managers. “We’ve developed a training for managers thatfocuses on understanding cultural differences,” Fonseca said.”These things affect production and safety.”Over the past two years, the group has reached more than 500Hispanic workers.”The workers have learned to trust us, and they’re no longerafraid to approach us,” Martinez said. “I get four to six calls aweek from Hispanics I have met who have questions and need moreinformation.”Of the Hispanic workers who have come to his trainings, Martinezsaid, 75 percent are Mexican. The rest are from Central or SouthAmerica. Hispanic Specialists GroupTwo years ago, they formed Georgia’s Hispanic SpecialistsGroup tounify their efforts.Jorge Atiles, an extension housing specialist with the UGACollege of Family and Consumer Sciences, helped with the grantprocess. Martinez, Fonseca and Atiles have both professional andpersonal reasons to see the program succeed.They work closely with the green industry in their UGA programs,and they’re all Hispanic. Martinez is from Mexico, FonsecaHonduras and Atiles the Dominican Republic.”The Hispanic work force in Georgia has grown 300 percent overthe past decade,” Fonseca said. “They’re a very important laborforce to agribusinesses in the state. And the UGA ExtensionService is in the position to deliver training to them across thestate where it is desperately needed.”In the past, the group trained Hispanic workers primarily onproper pesticide handling. With the grant, Martinez sees morepossibilities.
More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days agoThe home has attracted interest from domestic and overseas buyersSet on more than 2900sq m, 1-3 Wilma St features “supreme” ocean views and privacy.Selling agent Nicholas Slatyer of Belle Property Group said it was among the “top handful of beachfront blocks in Cairns”.“The house is elevated, alleviating some people’s fears of storm surges and the effects of global warming,” he said.“We are halfway through the expressions of interest campaign and have had reasonable interest from local and interstate buyers.“These sorts of opportunities rarely come up and many of these beachfront properties have been occupied for a long time.”Offers in excess of $3 million have been suggested, but Mr Slatyer said the vendor was willing to meet the market.“Ultimately I think the buyer will renovate the existing house or knock it over and start again,” he said. “The home is very nice and in great condition, but it’s also quite old.” The property is for sale by formal offer, closing May 24. 1-3 Wilma St, Trinity BeachA SPECTACULAR Far North beachfront property is on the market, giving would-be buyers a rare chance to live out the ultimate tropical dream.The five-bedroom mansion at 1-3 Wilma St is just a short stroll from the famous sands of Trinity Beach.In fact, the property’s title extends to the high-water mark, allowing its owner to literally lay claim to their personal slice of beach.The sale comes following the death last year of the home’s long-standing owner Marie Parker (nee Van Hove), a renowned opera pianist.Mrs Parker’s late husband David was a top-flight singer and spent many years teaching at the ANU School of Music in Canberra.The couple’s influential role in the Australian opera scene was highlighted by an article written in the ANU Reporter following Mr Parker’s death in 1996: “After the demise of Canberra Opera in 1984 he and his wife … established the ANU Opera Workshop to provide opera experience for local singers, mounting small-scale but professionally executed productions of baroque operas in the ANU Arts Centre”. It is understood the talented duo bought the Trinity Beach property as their retirement home, with many of their prominent musician friends visiting over the years. Mrs Parker was 89 when she died on October 30.