Helping new agricultural employees get quickly grounded in their new community is the idea behind a publication available through South Dakota Extension.
Family and consumer science Extension educator Laurie Tangen and 4-H youth educator Rose Stee developed the "Ag Employer Information Checklist.”
"A lot of employers assume new employees know about the various community resources that are available when they start working,” Tangen says. "But that's not always the case. The checklist is something the employer can hand out to new employees to help them settle in.”
The checklist is set up in a two-page brochure format. Most of page 1 provides space for filling in the names, addresses and phone numbers of local businesses and resources. There are subheadings for churches, restaurants, clinics/hospitals, English as a Second Language classes and interpreters.
"It does require a little bit of research on the part of the employer to individualize the listings,” Tangen says.
The second page contains information employees will find helpful in day-to-day living—how to secure a driver's license, insure a vehicle, enroll kids in school and set up an account at a local bank.
For example, the section on banking notes that $25 is needed to open a checking or savings account at most local banks and that individuals will need a driver's license or other photo ID, a Social Security number and either a permanent ID or Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) documents. The bank section also notes that stores such as Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee charge about $10 to wire money out of the country.
The checklist can easily be modified for use in other states. "It's designed to be user-friendly,” Tangen says.