2023 March Edition

Welcome to NCDOL’s new Labor Ledger Digest. In addition to a bi-monthly newsletter, we will send out monthly digests of stories and content not featured in the regular Labor Ledger. The Ledger Digest contains snippets of information and FYI sections that highlight safety awareness campaigns and helpful resources to employers and employees. We hope you enjoy all the informative content we have packed into this edition of the Ledger Digest!

Gold Star Growers Return for 29th Annual Meeting

On Thursday, Feb. 2, the N.C. Department of Labor (NCDOL) Agricultural Safety and Health (ASH) Bureau hosted their 29th Annual Gold Star Growers’ Meeting. This was an exciting time for everyone involved as this was the first Gold Star Growers’ Meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was also Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson’s first time attending.

The Gold Star Growers’ Meeting has been a fundamental part of the ASH Bureau since 1992. This program was established to recognize growers across the state who provide housing for their migrant farm workers which exceeds the requirements. In addition, it encourages those who are not involved in the program to elevate their worker housing conditions to meet and/or exceed the standards the Gold Star Growers’ have established.

Eligibility for Gold Star Grower status is based in part on a preoccupancy inspection, but to be considered, growers must meet the following basic requirements: register their migrant housing at least 45 days prior to the expected arrival date of the workers, be 100% in compliance at the time of inspection and exceed the requirements. Many ways Gold Star Growers exceed the requirements include providing air conditioning, Wi-Fi, washing machines and clothes dryers, along with additional living and recreational spaces, are just a few ways growers can exceed the basic requirements.

“I am very thankful we were able to hold a Gold Star Growers’ Meeting this year. With it being my first one since taking office, I was excited to see what this event had in store,” Commissioner Dobson said. “I am so proud of the men and women of the ASH Bureau who work diligently to maintain a high standard for farm workers’ housing across the state. It was a pleasure to meet the farmers who keep us fed and to recognize them for all that they do for the great state of North Carolina. Congratulations to all who won awards, and I look forward to the next Gold Star Grower’s Meeting.”

As of this year’s meeting, there are 119 double star growers and 83 single star growers. Additionally, housing award winners from 2021 were recognized at this year’s meeting due to the 2021 meeting’ cancellation due to COVID-19.

The 2021 awards presented are as follows:

• Most Improved Housing – AMD Farms of Hobgood
• Best Maintained Housing – Sandy Plain Sod LLC of Pink Hill
• Best New Housing – WF Partnership of Newton Grove.

The 2022 Housing of the Year award was given to Costa Farms, LLC of Buncombe County.

(Click here to view the list of Gold Star Growers.)

“I am so proud of the hard work our Gold Star Growers put forth every year,” ASH Bureau Chief Beth Rodman said. “Year after year, they spend a lot of time and money maintaining and improving their housing so that their workers can have a safe and comfortable place to live. Their dedication to providing the best housing they can for their workers is appreciated and not taken lightly. I also want to personally thank my ASH team. They work tirelessly each year to inspect 2,000 plus housing sites across the state, and their level of customer service, attention to detail, and commitment to the work they do is unsurpassed. I am honored to work with such a talented group of people.”

A congratulations is well deserved for all of the Gold Star Growers as well as those listed above who go above and beyond what it takes to provide top-tier living quarters for their workers. To learn more about the ASH Bureau and the Gold Star Grower Program, contact ASH Bureau Chief Beth Rodman at Beth.Rodman@labor.nc.gov or visit the NCDOL website.

Amarr Company of Mocksville Awarded SHARP Status

On Jan. 26, the N.C. Department of Labor (NCDOL) welcomed Amarr as an inductee to the Safety and Health Achievement and Recognition Program (SHARP) during a ceremony at the company’s Mocksville factory. Amarr began the two-year journey toward earning SHARP status in November 2020 and successfully achieved SHARP status in November 2022.

Abigael Newton, Industrial Hygeine Consultant with NCDOL’s Consultative Services Bureau (CSB), and Mark Luniewski, CSB Central District Supervisor, were on hand to present Amarr with the honorary SHARP flag. Newton praised the company for the tremendous improvements made to Amarr’s safety and health program.

“Under a very competent individual, the safety and health management system was greatly improved becoming robust and effective,” Newton said. “Management commitment to the safety and health program is extraordinary, as is the employee input into implementing the program in the facility. We are happy and proud to welcome Amarr to the SHARP program.”

Established in 1951, Amarr is one of the world’s leading brands in design, manufacturing, and distribution of sectional doors for both residential and commercial markets. With all products proudly made in the USA, Amarr has a legacy of innovation, quality design and sustainability. Amarr offers a full line of garage doors, from roll-up doors to aluminum full view garage doors.

Consultative Services Bureau Seeks Participants for Safety Survey

The Consultative Services Bureau of the Occupational Safety and Health division of North Carolina’s Department of Labor and the Construction Safety Research Center (CSRC) at Lawrence Technological University are investigating the most influential qualifications of safety personnel.

This survey will help increase the understanding of these qualifications. Any help in the completion of this survey and its return is highly appreciated.

The following options are available:
1. Click here to download a PDF version of the survey, fill it out and mail it to the address provided in the survey
2. Click here to complete the survey online

If you have any questions, please contact Kevin O’Barr, Bureau Chief of Consultative Services, at (919) 707-7840 or at kevin.obarr@labor.nc.gov

Join NCDOL and enjoy a rewarding career with great pay and benefits, all while helping to keep workers across North Carolina safe!

Bilingual OSHA Safety Compliance Officer I

Must be fluent in both English and Spanish.

OSH Compliance, comprised of the East, West and Agricultural Safety and Health Bureaus, conducts compliance inspections to identify safety and health hazards that are in violation of OSHA standards, documents those violations, and then issues the appropriate citations and penalties per established procedures.

Click the link below for more information and to apply!