Thursday, May 23 2013 9:00 AM EDT2013-05-23 13:00:09 GMT
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that metro Albany's unemployment rate declined to 8.6 percent in April, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 8.9 percent in March. TheMore >>
The unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia region declined to 8.2 percent in April, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 8.4 percent in March. The rate was 8.8 percent in April a year ago.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:30 AM EDT2013-05-23 11:30:38 GMT
Dougherty County Police believe a pair of convenience store smash and grabs may be the work of the same two men. The first smash and grab happened around 2:20 am at the Pit Stop convenience store atMore >>
Dougherty County Police believe two men are behind a smash and grab and a break in at two convenience stores within four miles of each other.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:26 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:26:38 GMT
If you're traveling this Memorial Day Weekend, you may notice you're paying about the same at the pump as last year. AAA says the average gas price in Georgia right now is about $3.46 a gallon. That'sMore >>
If you're traveling this Memorial Day Weekend, you may notice you're paying about the same at the pump as last year.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:20:46 GMT
Looks like will have great weather for Memorial Day weekend and DNR Rangers are preparing for big crowds on Lake Blackshear. Rangers expect a large number of boaters all weekend. They say they will strictlyMore >>
Looks like will have great weather for Memorial Day weekend and DNR Rangers are preparing for big crowds on Lake Blackshear.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:14 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:14:04 GMT
A Cordele woman and her father are leading an effort to send clothes and other supplies to tornado victims in Moore, Oklahoma. Not only are a lot of people already donating items, but people are chippingMore >>
A Cordele woman and her father are leading an effort to send clothes and other supplies to tornado victims in Moore, Oklahoma.More >>
LESLIE, GA (WALB) – A new development in Georgia's farm labor struggle.
Governor Nathan Deal announced Tuesday a proposal to help farmers who can't find enough field workers because of the state's new immigration law.
He thinks unemployed state probationers could pick up the slack. Will the plan work?
Benito Mendez is a harvesting crew foreman at Minor Produce in Leslie. 17 years in the business he knows about strenuous field work, especially in 100 degree heat.
"So many people come in and go. They don't stay long," says Mendez.
With the migrant work force leaving Georgia in route to other states with less strict immigrations laws, Governor Nathan Deal's farm labor survey showed an 11,000 worker shortage. His plan: offer the jobs to state probationers.
"We have more than 100,000 probationers in the state. 8,000 of them are in the southwest region of the state and 25% of them are unemployed. So the commissioners thought this would be a good avenue to provide jobs to probationers," Kristen Stancil, spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Corrections.
Officials call it a pilot program. Minor Produce is one of 4 participating southwest Georgia farms. But in the long run will probationers cut it in the fields while alleviating the farm labor shortage? According to Mendez who oversees the work in the fields, probably not.
"The probation people from Americus have sent some people here, but they'll take in two or three orders and then they take off and don't work," said Mendez.
He says in the past 3 days, 15 probationers have come and gone. It's the heat, he says, that takes a toll on workers who aren't conditioned for the work.
Advocates say the program is still in it's infancy - a project in the works. But proponents say if 1 out of 5 probationers can cut it, then that's improvement.
Only time will tell how well it works.
The four pilot farm programs are in Colquitt, Echols, and Sumter counties.
The Governor along with the Commissioners of Labor and Agriculture devised the plan.
Governor Deal calls the move a "partial solution" to the farm worker shortage.