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Ontario-based program helps steer ag workers in new direction

Jeaneth Mendoza, workforce consultant at the Oregon Human Development Corp., shows the ropes to Jasmine Romero. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez).

ONTARIO – The phone rings and Jasmine Romero is quick to answer.

When she takes a call, she glances at her supervisor, Jeaneth Mendoza, to make sure her words are correct.

It’s the first day of work for Romero.

The 18-year-old is an administrative assistant at the Oregon Human Development Corp. Her work experience is funded through the National Farmworker Jobs Program.

Using U.S. Department of Labor grants, the program, dating back to 1979, helps farmworkers and their families move out of agriculture and into different and often better-paying jobs. 

“We don’t want to take employees away from farmers,” said Mendoza, workforce consultant at the Ontario office . . .