Have you ever needed someone to help you out with a bit of yard work or assist you with moving that mass of boxes in your garage into your storage space? If you have found yourself with a job that may or may not require some expertise and absolutely does require someone dedicated to getting the job done, where have you gone to get some help?
This was the problem that Scott and I were facing just these past weeks. We had a concrete company remove the slab in our 1956 Hugh Taylor home due to some shifting of the soil underneath. Since we had the slab out, we also decided to replace our deteriorating cast iron drain pipes and have the hot and cold water rerun through the attic. Wanting to save a bit of money, we wanted to hire some day laborers to dig out all of the drainpipes in advance of our plumber replacing them. However, we were at a bit of an impasse as to where we might find some folks easily.
A friend told us about the State of Nevada’s Casual Day Labor Office. We had never heard of it before. But now that we have used the office, we will never forget it. You can see in the pictures below the excellent work they did finding where our drain pipes were buried and digging them out. For the entire house, it took four men only a half-day! Those of us who live in older homes are always looking for someone good to help out with odd restoration jobs, so it seemed a good idea to run a piece on this excellent office in the Preservation Press.
Frank Woodbeck – McNeil resident and director of DETR – directed me to two gentlemen who were very generous with their time and answered all of my questions: Ron Fletcher, chief of field operations for Nevada Job Connect, and Lester Ratleff, supervisor of the Casual Day Labor Office. Here’s what I learned:
It seems that the Casual Day Labor Office is not a new kid on the block. In fact, it was established way back in our lovely mid-20th century. About thirty years ago, the office moved into its current location at 1001 North A Street. As an office within Nevada Job Connect – a statewide network connecting businesses with employees – the Casual Day Labor Office focuses on short-term employment in construction, hauling, and manual labor jobs.
The aim of the Casual Day Labor Office is to help individuals who are between jobs, homeless, or just need some supplemental income find temporary work. Mr. Fletcher told me that when a person comes to their office for the first time looking for work, they are required to go through a screening process that includes a five-year work history as well as all of the usual documentation that comes with getting a job, such as social security number, phone number, and address if they have one. The Casual Day Labor Office also asks if the person is a veteran because, as both Mr. Fletcher and Mr. Ratleff stressed, the office works hard to get more veterans employment. In addition, through this process individuals are often put in touch with Veterans’ Services and other social service programs for veterans and non-veterans alike. Mr. Fletcher emphasized that while they don’t do background checks, clientele at the Casual Day Labor Office must have either a social security number or a green card demonstrating they are allowed to work in the United States.
There is a wide range of people who come to the Casual Day Labor Office for work. Some are just hard workers while others bring backgrounds in construction, plumbing, electrical, and concrete. Most are men, but women from these trades are not uncommon either. The only requirement that they bring with them is the desire and ability to work hard. And I can say now that we have become something of regulars at this office, these folks do work hard!
I also spoke with these two gentlemen about who most frequently calls this office for workers. Many different people and jobs come into the office, from people like Scott and I to truck drivers in need of help unloading a shipment and even short-term construction work. In the spring, the office gets particularly busy as calls often come in for some help with spring yard cleaning and upkeep.
Payment for the work is always in cash with the base hourly rate of $10.00 for unskilled work and $12 to $15 for more skilled or generally more taxing work. There is a minimum job time of four hours, but if you need them to come back the next day or for several weeks that can be arranged, too. In fact, Mr. Ratleff informed me that 30 – 35% of the jobs turn into permanent positions for these folk. Potential long-term employers can use the Casual Day Labor Office as a means to recruit and try out a worker. In addition, if you have a particular skill you are looking for or would like to request a particular worker, Mr. Ratleff and his staff are more than happy to arrange it for you.
So, the next time you are looking at your yard and overwhelmed by how much work it will be to get it in shape, call Mr. Ratleff or his assistant Grace Salizar at the Casual Day Labor Office. The office opens at 6:00am and they can find you someone to help you out for later that same day or for later in the week.
What a great resource for homeowners and business owners alike!
Casual Day Labor Office Telephone: (702) 486-3441