ARVADA, Colo. — Echter's Nursery and Garden Center, a staple in the Arvada community for 65 years, is helping the recent influx of migrants who have arrived in Denver find jobs.
Vice-president Julie Echter told Denver7 Friday the green industry is one that has been struggling to find and retain employees since the start of the coronavirus pandemic nearly four years ago.
"The labor force has really changed, people don’t wanna work full-time, it’s hard to get someone who wants to be on their feet and do these more difficult jobs," Echter said.
With Denver's growing migrant crisis, she said they decided to help in a way that would be a win-win for everyone.
“Every corner, there’s somebody asking for work," Echter added. "Here’s all these people who really want to work and here’s an industry that really, really needs workers."
The business recently hired two new employees from Venezuela, Nicky Medina and Jose Marcano, who just obtained their work permits to legally work in the U.S.
"We brought them in, they filled out an application, interviewed and they will be starting next week," said Echter.
She said the two were hired as seasonal, full-time employees and will be working eight hours a day, five days a week.
"They’ll work on watering, stocking, kind of maintaining the plants we’re growing for the retail store," Lechter added. "A lot of it will be in our growing greenhouses, sometimes they'll come out to the floor to stock things.”
“[We're] happy and content, thankful," said Medina, in Spanish. “We want to thank her, thank you for the opportunity we're being given."
Medina and Marcano will be starting work on Wednesday. Echter said they're in the process of hiring two more newcomers who will hopefully be joining them soon.
Echter's has also set up a new website that is helping connect companies with migrants who are in need of work. If you know a migrant newcomer looking for work, direct them to fill out this Google form.