Landscaper heads south of the border for summer workers - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau, MO

Landscaper heads south of the border for summer workers

Landscaper heads south of the border for summer workers
By: Ryan Tate

Cape Girardeau, MO - Fred Clote says he wants to hire local workers for his landscaping job.  The problem is, no one wants to do the work.

"I've not had a single person show up for an interview," Clote says. "They sign up, but they don't show up."

It got so bad, Clote almost quit the business four years ago.

"Help was getting inconsistent, they wouldn't show up and couldn't keep their drivers license," Clote said.

So he decided to hire immigrant workers out of Mexico.  The men come up in the Spring, and leave in the Fall.  Some have been a part of his team for the last couple of years. He pays them $7.50 a hour, and his foreman gets $11.00 an hour. They get paid time and a half for overtime.

"A lot of younger guys like air conditioning, they do technology based jobs.  These workers want to do this kind of work," Clote said.

The state and federal governments make him try to hire local workers every year, including those on unemployment, but none of them want to do the work, Clote says.

His employees have their visas, and their passports.  All of them will head home in November.

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