Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County will be holding a meeting on Friday, Feb. 1 from 1-2:30 p.m. for agricultural producers with Hispanic employees, or producers with an interest in employing Hispanic labor. The focus will be on the Hispanic culture, how culture influences interactions with your labor force, hiring and maintaining a sustainable Spanish-speaking workforce, and building a basic vocabulary of Spanish agricultural terms. The meeting will be held at the Frank W. Bratt Agricultural Center, 3542 Turner Road, Jamestown. It is free and open to all agricultural producers.
Ignacio Parra, cultural and linguistic trainer and community facilitator from Chautauqua Tapestry, will talk about the Hispanic culture, environment, and history; and how it relates to behavior and expectations.
Alfonso Pagan, CCE job coach/educator, will talk about the Hispanic workforce training project with E2CC BOCES, as well as introduce some basic agricultural vocabulary.
Ginny Carlberg, community educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension, stated "this first meeting will bring together a group of agricultural producers who are interested in learning how to better communicate with their Hispanic labor force, and will open a series of trainings that will build the basic Spanish vocabulary skills of employers in agriculture."
The trainings are a part of a new initiative CCE has launched in partnership with Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES to help Spanish-speaking Chautauqua County residents secure and retain jobs in agriculture. E2CC BOCES is currently conducting English as a Second Language classes with a focus on agricultural vocabulary and job training. A grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission has made this project possible by creating the new position at CCE held by Alfonso Pagan, job coach/educator, who was hired in October 2012 to serve as a liaison between farms and Hispanic employees. Al Pagan can be contacted at 664-9502, ext. 217.