Three hundred Hispanic farm workers will be recruited from 11 states and Puerto Rico and brought here by the government to take permanent clerical jobs in federal agencies here.
Despite high minority unemployment in the District, the Labor Department program provides funds for recruiting, testing and paying travel here for those chosen for the Grade 2, 3 and 4, jobs. Starting salaries range from $8,128 to $10,049.
Labor has contracted with three private couseling groups -- One Amercian Inc., and the Mexican-Amercian Womens National Association of Washington and the New York-based National Puerto Rican Forum -- to find and counsel the prospective employes.
The two Washington-based groups each will supply 200 workers -- either Hispanic farm workers, migratory workers or children of Hispanic farm families -- to government agencies. The New York contractor will get 100 for the jobs.
Labor Department officials said One America will get approximately $204,000 for counsulting services, travel housing, and counseling. The Mexican-American Womens National Association will get about $67,000 and the Puerto Rican Forum about $80,000. In addition to paid staff, Labor says the groups will also supply volunteers to counsel the farm workers when they get here, help them find places to live. They will be given per diem payments until their first paychecks come in.
The Office of Personnel Management will handle many details of placing employes here, and will administer tests to make sure they have necessary typing and clerical skills. Recruiting, which will be handled primarily by the three contractors, will concentrate on Michigan, Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin, California, Arizona, New York, Puerto Rico, New Mexico, Colorao, Illinois, and Minnesota.
Federal agencies that have agreed to take the workers or requested them are Agriculture (55), Army (20), Commerce (6), HEW (10), HUD (22), Justice (4), Navy (15), OPM (20), Securities and Exchange Commission, (3), Treasury (35) and VA (10). The Labor Department and their agencies will take the remainder.
The hiring "outreach" program conforms with President Carter's Civil Service Reform Act. It requires agencies to aggressively recruit Hispanics, blacks and other minority group jobs candidates in areas -- or job skills -- where they are "underrepresented." Labor officials say Hispanics are underrepresented in most areas of government employment, including the clerical fields. They surveyed agency hiring needs -- before President Carter's recent job freeze -- and report that agencies said they would need about 800 new clerical workers at those low-levels this summer. Recruiting will begin next month, with the employes being brought here this summer -- about three months before the election.