The Virginia Employment Commission’s Agricultural Labor Program is organized under the VEC’s Workforce Services Division and also includes the Foreign Labor Certification Program.
The VEC provides three major ways for Ag Employers to recruit workers.
- As with any business in the Commonwealth, the VEC can place a local job order in our Virginia Workforce Connection system to recruit applicants in the surrounding area. This VAWC is designed to be self service, however our Farm Placement Specialists can assist you in entering your job order and will help you utilize the recruitment features of the system.
- Our Farm Placement Staff can also assist you with using the Dept. of Labor’s Agricultural Recruitment System. Under the ARS system, Agricultural Employers can recruit and have applicants referred from within Virginia and from other states if needed. The Wagner-Peyser Act provides authority for the ARS and its regulatory provisions can be found at 20 CFR 653.500 - 653.503.
- If after using the first two options there is still a labor shortage, you can use the H-2A temporary agricultural program. The H-2A program allows Ag Employers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers into the country to perform agricultural labor on a seasonal basis. The Employer must prove that “there are not sufficient able, willing, and qualified U.S. workers available to perform the temporary and seasonal agricultural employment for which nonimmigrant foreign workers are being requested; and that employment of H-2A workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers”.
Our Farm Placement Staff are available to come to your business and discuss these options that are available to you. Using the link below will let you see which Farm Placement Specialist covers your county.