GSA's New Worker Program Receives Bus Donation From MST
SALINAS, CA - It is gratifying to see so many companies and organizations working jointly to protect essential workers. In late July, Monterey Salinas Transit (MST) generously donated two mini-buses to help Clinca de Salud del Valle de Salinas (CSVS) staff reach farm workers in need of COVID-19 testing. The Grower Shipper Association of Central California (GSA) recently partnered with CVSC to provide expedited test results for farm workers allowing healthy employees to return to their families and jobs more quickly.
"At GSA, we continue to foster innovative partnerships to support the needs of agriculture employers and employees throughout the region. MST reached out asking to help, and collaborating with CSVS was a logical connection," says Chris Valadez, GSA President. "This is a win-win for all organizations involved."
GSA and CVSC developed this new program that prioritizes testing for agricultural employees after hearing that test results could take up to six days.
"Farm workers have two weeks of paid sick time; however, it is still frustrating and unsettling for them to quarantine for so many days while awaiting test results," Valadez says. "For farm employers, the long wait times for results meant that harvesting could be potentially slowed or disrupted due to diminishing numbers within a crew."
CSVS supplies the staff to conduct the testing for farm workers, and all test results are reported to the local health department.
In addition to faster results, GSA and CSVS also established more convenient locations for testing, which necessitates moving CVSC staff throughout the region.
"The minibus donation by MST is an important component to the success of this program because it means CVSC staff can be wherever they are needed," says Valadez.