514 farm workers leave next month
Five hundred and 14 Jamaican farm workers will leave the island next month for Washington, DC, to work on the Gebbers Farms under the Overseas Employment Programme.
The Gebbers Farms are among the largest holdings in the United States, with more than 5,000 acres of apples and more than 2,000 acres of cherry.
The owners are also looking to expand their operations, which would see more Jamaicans being employed there.
"They have assured us that in another two years, they would be able to take even more workers. It is a programme where we would see incremental increases," says Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson.
The minister was speaking following a visit and cheque presentation by the United States employers at the ministry's North Street offices on Wednesday.
The owners of Gebbers Farms, Robert and Katherine Grandy, symbolically handed over a cheque valued at $250,000 towards a Jamaican charitable organisation.
Robinson pointed out that the United States employers were fulsome in their praise of the Jamaican workers.
For his part, Grandy also highlighted the possibility of employing more Jamaicans. He said that Jamaican workers' attitude towards the job was always "very professional".