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Chamber Puerto Rican Workforce Recruitment program put on hold

Mar 23, 2020 08:45AM ● By Editor
From the Cook County Chamber of Commerce - March 23, 2020

Because most county businesses have now closed, we have decided to freeze in place our workforce recruitment effort that focused on Puerto Rico. Mary Somnis of the EDA, who administers the Lloyd K. Johnson grant that pays for this program, wishes to conserve as much of that money as possible so that we might quickly come to the aid of employers and workers once our economy emerges from its shutdown. 

It is a bit ironic, since Laura Muus, our recruitment worker, had just made breakthroughs with potential workers in Puerto Rico and was on the cusp of placing many of them in Cook County.

When I talked with Laura yesterday, she reported that some businesses, and some potential employees in Puerto Rico, still were eager to proceed with recruitment despite the COVID-19 crisis. The employers are concerned that the H2B and J1 foreign worker programs will not reopen when our economy does, and they will be really hurting for workers. The potential Puerto Rican workers still confront a bleak situation and still wish to make the move to Cook County. 

That's why we wish to freeze in place this portion of our program. Laura will be standing by to work with you, and with potential workers in Puerto Rico, the minute that becomes possible. If you wish to ensure you are on Laura's standby list, please email her at [email protected]

It's also the case that while most businesses are shutting down and furloughing workers, there are some essential businesses who need additional workers to cope with the increased workload of COVID-19. The Chamber workforce website is available to help with that. Go to, register and post your jobs there. If you have problems doing that (that website can be a bit quirky), please email me.

Jim Boyd
Executive Director
Cook County Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 805 15 North Broadway
Grand Marais, MN 55604
218-387-2079 (office)
218-387-2466 (home)
218-370-9665 (cell)
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