Relief for Unemployed Valley Farmers Affected by Freeze

April 8, 2009 8:22:50 PM PDT
Relief has arrived for some of the thousands of Valley farm workers laid off because of the 2007 citrus freeze. Proteus, incorporated has just been given $5-million dollars in federal aid to put more than four hundred farm workers in Kings, Fresno, Tulare and Kern Counties to work.Erica Mireles said, "This has been a long awaited project this was as a result of the 2007 freeze that happened in January over two years ago."

Mireles says Proteus is targeting the money towards the Orange Belt area of the Valley ... all the way from Mendota to Arvin. Those who qualify are citrus workers who picked out in the fields or worked in packing houses and were laid off or underemployed because of the freeze.

"It's getting harder for them to find jobs because the economy as a whole is not doing well," said Mireles.

On Wednesday, Proteus employees received training on how to place the farm workers in each job available. The more than 400 jobs that the freeze-affected farm workers will be doing aren't necessarily farm-related.

"To give them the opportunity to learn some other skills of small hand operated equipment and really within a clerical or office situation, perhaps learning word or spreadsheet functions," said Mike McCann.

Proteus employees will place the farm workers in jobs ranging from working for non-profits to local city offices. And for those who'd rather work outdoors ... "In the irrigation district, cleaning up the aqueduct or forestry department working on clearing of shrubs or fire trails or something like that."

Each farm worker will either get work for six months or $12-thousand dollars worth of work ... whichever comes first.

Related Information:

Proteus Toll-Free Number:  1-888-776-9998

  • FRESNO COUNTY:
    Selma Service Center
    3706 McCall Ave, Ste 107
    (559) 891-0135
  • Fresno Service Center
    1815 Van Ness
    (559) 499-2140
  • Kerman Service Center
    15192 W. Whitesbridge
    (559) 473-4500
  • Sanger Service Center
    1849 Academ St
    (559) 875-7146
  • KERN COUNTY:
    Delano Service Center
     1816 E. Cecil Ave
    (661) 721-5800
  • TULARE COUNTY:
    Porterville Service Center
    54 N. Main Ste 10
    (559) 781-1852
  • Visalia Service Center
    224 NW 3rd St
    (559) 627-0100
  • Dinuba Vocational Center
    199 N. L Street
    (559) 591-5065
  • Porterville One-STOP Center
    1063 W. Hernderson
    (559) 788-1400
  • KINGS COUNTY:
    Hanford Service Center
    216 W. 7th Street
    (559) 582-9253

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