From ElPasoTimes.com, Ramon Bracamontes, 12 Apr 2011.
[El Paso, TX] — Three nonprofit agencies have formed a community center that will provide farmworkers in Texas and New Mexico with temporary housing along with help in filling out and obtaining their working visas.
The new East Side center also provides workers with education, training and transportation to and from work. The center opened this month and received authorization from the U.S. government to help Mexican farmworkers with their work visas.
The community center is operated by the agencies: Texas State SIFE-Students In Free Enterprise; Workonneccion International LLC; and Border Hands-Farm Worker Community Center Inc. The center is at 1401 Lomaland.
Lidia Robles of Students in Free Enterprise said the center was established because there is a shortage of farmworkers, which is causing farmers to limit the amount of land they can farm, thereby reducing the amount of revenue they collect.
The community center has been modified to house up to 300 Mexican nationals, as additional showers and restrooms, a cafeteria and break rooms have been built. The facility can house and feed the workers three meals a day.
SIFE is a global, nonprofit organization helping to change the world with student teams on more than 1,600 university campuses in 40 countries. SIFE offers students the opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise. Texas State SIFE is one of the leading collegiate teams within the United States.
Workonneccion is an international employment agency specializing in border agricultural needs. Their goal is to supply a qualified work force to the New Mexico and the Texas border region.
Border Hands is a nonprofit organization with more than 10 years of experience serving the community.
To learn more about SIFE, visit www.business.txstate.edu/sife.