Unemployed? Enjoy apples, fresh air, and exercise? Then here's some good news: There are plenty of jobs to be had in America's apple orchards, at this very moment. Orchards in New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Virginia, and probably a few other states can't find enough laborers to help harvest their crops. They're looking for you!
Wages are between $120 to $150 a day—not amazing by any means, but still more than what the average internship pays. You won't receive any benefits, but you might get to snack on some apples—and those will keep the doctor away, or so people claim, which will make healthcare coverage unnecessary. You won't need to pay for a gym for a while, because you'll have to put in hours and hours of grueling physical labor each day.
Sound good? No? Hmmm, that's not a very cooperative attitude. It's also not an uncommon one, as Diane Kurrle, vice-president of public affairs for the U.S. Apple Association, tells the Seattle Weekly:
Most farmers use the government's guest worker program, which requires extensive advertising of jobs in local listings and through state employment agencies before visas are granted to foreigners. But despite unemployment hovering around 10 percent, Kurrle says it's nearly impossible to find Americans willing to work hard, long hours, "including the type of people who are maybe at Occupy Seattle right now."
"The reality is, 20 people say they're interested, five show up, and only one lasts more than a couple hours," Kurrle says. "That's honestly the experience of most growers in Washington state, Michigan, New England - pretty much anywhere across the country."
In the first seven months of the year, federal officials reported that they'd already initiated nearly twice as many enforcement cases against businesses as they did in all of 2009. The issue surfaced Friday in Vermont, when a group of migrant farm workers complained that too many police officers in the state were acting like immigration agents.
Without enough workers to harvest their crops, orchard owners face the demise of their crops—just like in Georgia and Alabama. You don't want that to happen, do you? Please, go pick some apples! Do it for the war effort.