For years, Amber Caudill, manager of the woman-owned business Midwest Rentals, Lafayette, Ind., used temporary employment agencies to find seasonal help — many times without a lot of success. This year she knew she had to make a change.
“I learned about the possibility of becoming certified to hire seasonal workers. As soon as we heard about it, we wanted to try to go for it because we can pay seasonal staff our rate and offer them health, dental and vision insurance, but only for the time frame that we have them here. I found the Seasonal Determination form on the Indiana Department of Workforce Development website. The requirement is to stay under 26 weeks of work. We requested a time frame from May 15 to Nov. 1, which is our busy season. We applied for it in February and learned in April that we received this status and are approved through 2050,” she says, noting that this was not part of the H-2B worker program.
For Caudill, gaining this status means “we won’t be paying so much out in casual labor, we won’t have to keep them on staff through the winter and won’t have to pay unemployment,” she says.
By cutting out the temporary agency, Caudill hopes this will help reduce her company’s overall expense for seasonal help and offer additional benefits as well.
“In 2021, we spent $188,000 in casual labor. It was a significant amount, which included our temp agency fees that can range anywhere from $23-$26 per person. We are already paying out of payroll, so now we have one less thing we have to pay. Plus, summer help that came through the temp agency were not allowed to drive for us. Now we can put these employees on our insurance and have them help us with deliveries,” she says.
Caudill is grateful that she has been able to hire around 10 employees for summer help. “We’ve gotten lucky this year. We did some social media ads, but a lot of them have been friends of people who work here or their kids or high school kids. These employees just want a summer job. We have informed everyone we hire for this period that this is for seasonal work,” she says.
Caudill was able to access this program through her state’s Department of Workforce Development office. Other states might have similar programs available.