Blueberry Rakers’ Center to Open in Washington County Bookmark and Share

July 22, 2014

Resource center opening August 4

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 22, 2014

Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

AUGUSTA—With the blueberry harvest underway, Maine Department of Labor staff are again partnering with other governmental and community service organizations to host the Rakers’ Center in Washington County. The official opening is August 4, and the hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The facility provides migrant farm workers and their families with access to a variety of resources including legal and employment advice, access to medical care, information on educational resources for children of migrant workers and guidance in applying for other services.

The center will be open August 4 to 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and August 11 to 15 and 18 to 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Rakers’ Center will close on August 19. A food pantry provided by the Maine Migrant Health Program is also located on site and will open August 3.

This year the Rakers’ Center is located on the Epping Road in Columbia, next to Columbia Town Hall. For more information, workers are encouraged to call the Rakers’ Center at 207-483-6587.

The Rakers’ Center opens annually during the peak of the blueberry picking season and serves more than 1,000 migrant and seasonal farm workers who are employed in the blueberry harvest. It has been recognized nationwide as a model program because of the centralized services offered.

This month, the Department of Labor posted its updated resource guide for migrant workers on the Maine Monitor Advocate page on the department’s website, http://www.maine.gov/labor/laborlaws/mainemonitor_advocate.html .

For more information about migrant workers issues, contact the Maine Department of Labor at 207-623-7900 or visit the Maine Monitor Advocate webpage.

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