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Farwest opens in 1 week!

Don't miss out...there's still time to register for the 2017 Farwest Show! You'll find far more opportunities to learn and grow at Farwest than ever before from the trade show floor to seminars to fun networking events. Build your business's bottom line by finding new suppliers, new products and new plants. Write your orders at the show to be ready for next season. » Register today!

Bipartisan effort in the works to save Dream Act

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois last week unveiled a new iteration of the Dream Act, as originally reported in The Guardian. The bipartisan proposal, which mirrors previous legislation that failed to pass Congress multiple times, would grant legal status and a path to citizenship to so-called Dreamers — those undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

In order to qualify for legal status, under criteria laid out in the draft text of the bill, the immigrants must pursue higher education, work lawfully for at least three years, or serve in the military. They must also undergo a background check, show proficiency in English, and pay a fee. Anyone convicted of a felony or other serious crimes would be ineligible. Read more

Homeland Security issues 15,000 new H-2B visas

Following heavy lobbying from industries that rely on temporary foreign workers, the Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced a one-time increase of 15,000 additional visas for low-wage, seasonal workers for the remainder of this fiscal year. The visas are for workers taking temporary jobs in the seafood, tourism, landscaping, construction and other seasonal industries – but not farm laborers. Read more

Reminder: Oregon minimum wage hike takes effect July 1

The minimum wage in Oregon will increase beginning July 1. The annual rate increase was established by Senate Bill 1532, as approved by the 2016 Oregon Legislature. For businesses in the Portland Metro area, the minimum wage will increase to $11.25 per hour on July 1. Employers in the rural part of Oregon will have a lower minimum of $10.00, and the standard minimum wage for all other areas will be $10.25. The wage will continue to go up annually every July 1 until 2022.

Mark Bigej appears on AM Northwest

OAN president Mark Bigej appeared on KATU-2's AM Northwest recently to talk about the benefits of gardening and the economic impact of Oregon's nearly $1 billion nursery industry. You can view the segment below:

Keep track of updates to OAN Workforce page

The OAN created the Workforce resource webpage to address the recent enforcement activity by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The webpage will continue to be updated with current news and information as well as helpful downloads. You can find recent stories on immigration enforcement and reform, as well as other workforce-related issues, on the OAN's Workforce page, (members only). This page is provided for members only as a benefit of your dues investment.

Need help with your safety program?

A great safety program is crucial to ensure your workplace is safe. OAN members have access to our online library of 150 safety and health related handouts and posters. Downloads include attitude and awareness, confined spaces, fire safety and emergency response, hazard communication, lifting and moving material, safety posters, and personal protection. Each document is offered in both English and Spanish. Visit the safety page to browse the safety handouts (Members only).

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