Monahans Village Farms Employer Finalist in Texas 10/9/13
CBS 7 News
A local business that once struggled to survive is a top five finalist in the Texas Employer of the Year Award.
The Permian Basin Division of Village Farms in Monahans has found new and creative ways to find employees and now, they're being recognized for their efforts.
This greenhouse first opened its doors in May of last year. Originally the company hoped to bring about 400 jobs to the area but like most companies, they were losing a battle with the oilfield.
"Extreme growing, extreme climates, and employment is a part of that, it's extreme," says Derin Gemmel, Village Farms Director of Human Resources-US Operations. "[We’ve looked for] Veterans, folks that are disabled, and even some homeless that have turned out to be good workers."
Now, they're fully staffed with about 200 employees, and they're recruitment efforts aren't going unnoticed. The company is now a finalist for the Texas Employer of the Year Award according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Workers we spoke to at the greenhouse say they couldn't be happier there.
"I have my family and it’s for all my life," says Jose Martinez, Village Farms employee. "I love what I do, I love tomatoes, and it's good people."
Jose Martinez has worked at the greenhouse for over a year. Like him, Brandon McGuire chose village farms for similar reasons.
"I used to work at sonic,” says McGuire, “but I make more at Village Farms."
Gemmel says they can also make more than the normal ten dollars per hour. "The quicker they go up and down, the quicker they clip, the quicker they pick the higher their rate is." He says workers here produce millions of pounds in 30 acre greenhouse, and they are expected to expand in the future.
The winner of the Texas Employer of the Year Award will be announced this December.