Sunday, April 19, 2009

Perdue Farms Incorporated and PBBC

On April 18th, Saturday, Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church organized a meeting between Marta Velez, HR Representative of Perdue Farms Incorporated in Georgetown, DE, and the community of refugees from Burma. More than 15 showed up at the meeting and four refugees from Albany, NY, traveled to Philadelphia especially for this event.

The meeting went very well with Marta introducing herself and Perdue to the attendees and explaining, with the aid of audio visual, the nature of work applicants will be performing at the plant.

A lot of interest was demonstrated from the part of the refugees. After the explanation, questions and answers, they immediately filled up application forms. About 8 persons completed their applications which were submitted to Marta. There are still some more applications to be completed and sent later.

After the applications are processed, Perdue will arrange a trip for these applicants to visit Perdue plant, explore Georgetown, and have lunch there during the following week just to give the applicants a taste of what they will be experiencing if they take up the jobs offered.

If any applicant who is hired, decided to relocate to Georgetown, Perdue will help pay the expenses for relocation, they will be accommodated in a hotel for 30 days before finding their own place to live. They will also be given one meal a day at the plant. An allowance of $400 will be disbursed to each person hired for expenses to help them settle in. This will be deducted in small installments from their paychecks. The company will also help them find proper accommodation.

Even though we at the Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church would like to see many of our members in our Church every week and to stay in Philadelphia, we have to consider their wellbeing and livelihood. Since there are no guarantees of promising jobs in the area, we had to take the opportunity extended by Perdue.

We hope that this will be the first group of people from Burma to start a community in Georgetown, Delaware.