Foreign Exchange Program in Monahans Eases Labor Crisis 9/19/13
CBS 7 News
September 19, 2013
MONAHANS, TX—Like many other cities in West Texas, Monahans has been experiencing a shortage in labor workers.
Mayor David Cutbirth's solution: Six-polish college students for starters. The polish students are apart of a foreign exchange student/work program, the first to ever visit Monahans.
The students finished up their three-month exchange/work program this week.
Mayor Cutbirth says he's looking to expand the town, but he's having a trouble trying to fill service jobs.
This is when the idea of having a foreign exchange work program came to mind. He says it's a win- win situation; these students get to experience the American culture and Monahans is able to have more service jobs filled.
"These kids can provide that bridge that we need, which is to provide some good labor, and they speak fluent English, are highly motivated, and young—just like having a college in your town. These kids are hungry to work," said Cutbirth.
Dorothy, one of the Polish students, recently obtained her bachelor degree in architecture in Poland. She says she was excited to share what she’s learned in college, here in the United States.
"I think that this is the best experience I ever had in my life. I appreciate that I came here, I love the place and I really enjoyed my time here," said Dorothy.
Dorothy was able to create a website and sketches of renovations for Monahans Afforadble Homes.
Eric, whose also a recent graduate from Poland, created graphics that are displayed on billboards for local businesses in the area. He says the culture difference is dramatically different.
"I think more people over here are more open, more nice, they chat with you, they speak with you, they want to find out what you’re doing over here, smiling all the time—I think that’s the big difference," said Eric.
Here’s how the program worked: the students worked for three months and then will travel all over the U.S. for one month.
Mayor Cutbirth says he plans to hold the program again next year, but wants to have around 50 to 60 polish students in his second go around.
For more information about this foreign exchange program you can visit: http://iena.org/.