Press Release

Blueberry Rakers’ Center opens in Washington County

 COLUMBIA, Maine — With the blueberry harvest underway, Maine Department of Labor staff again are partnering with other governmental and community service organizations to host the Rakers’ Center in Washington County.
The facility provides migrant farm workers and their families with access to a variety of resources including legal and employment advice, access to medical care, information on educational resources for children of migrant workers and guidance in applying for other services. A food pantry also is located on site.
The Rakers’ Center opens annually during the peak of the blueberry picking season to serve the 1,000 migrant and seasonal farm workers who are employed in the blueberry harvest. It has been recognized nationwide as a model program because of the centralized services offered.
This year the Rakers’ Center is located next to Columbia Town Hall on the Epping Road in Columbia . For information, workers are encouraged to call the center at 207-483-6587.
Both English- and Spanish-speaking individuals may call the Hotline for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers operated by the Maine Department of Labor at 888-307-9800. The hotline is answered by bilingual staff.
Migrant workers can contact the hotline to find out about farm work or nonagricultural employment. Workers who do not speak English can request assistance obtaining appointments with health care providers and other agencies.
For information about migrant workers issues, call the Maine Department of Labor at 207-623-7900 or visit the Maine Monitor Advocate page on the department’s website at www.maine.gov/labor/labor_laws/maine_monitor_advocate.html.

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