October 5, 2020
By: Alison Bodor, President and CEO, American Frozen Food Institute
Last week, AFFI hosted a two-part webinar series focused on labor. Labor supply is an increasing challenge for the manufacturing industry in the U.S., including the frozen food industry. This has been an ongoing challenge that is now exacerbated by the pandemic.
For part one of our series we heard from Lynn Jacquez and Chris Schulte two legal experts from the law firm of CJ Lake LLC who shared background on how U.S. immigration labor laws were first formed and how they can be used today. They also discussed legal compliance with H-2A and H-2B visas. H-2A visas are for agricultural workers and there are limitations to how some of our processing members can use workers under the terms of that visa. H-2B is an option for processing jobs, but they are very limited in number.
During part two of the series we heard from human resource and operations professionals representing AFFI member companies Boardman Foods, Simplot, Wyman’s, who shared their lessons learned and best practices for hiring labor, especially during this challenging pandemic.
My big takeaway from this discussion is that long-term labor supply is about building relationships – in the community and with your employee base, even for seasonal workers. It’s a long-term investment and must be viewed that way.
I invite AFFI members to view this two-part series at your leisure to walk away with some tangible ideas your company can begin to implement right away. To view other AFFI educational offerings, please click here.