|Governor Lee Si-jong initiates productive labor service for 2021|
- Participated in productive labor service at flower farm experiencing labor shortage
Governor Lee Si-jong of Chungcheongbuk-do participated in the first productive labor service this year.
Governor Lee visited Jincheon Flower Export Farming Association (President: Lee Hyeon-gyu), a flower farm in Jincheon’s Iwol-myeon that has been experiencing labor shortage, and provided a helping hand in picking out rose blooms on the 6th of this month.
Approximately 20 members of Jincheon Moms’ Gathering, an Internet forum (President: Han Hye-jin) and Saenggeo Jincheon Cultural Action (President: Yu Jae-yun) joined in the volunteer work on the weekend together with Governor Lee.
Volunteers thoroughly complied with the level 2 social distancing guideline by dividing into groups of less than ten in each vinyl greenhouse and they kept the distance of at least 2 m from each other.
Last year, Governor Lee volunteered to work at a traditional sweets factory in Jincheon. As such, he has been actively participating in the productive labor service program annually since 2016.
“We had much trouble during the last farming season because we could not receive help from foreign workers. So, the productive labor service has been a great help,” said President Lee Hyeon-gyu of Jincheon Flower Export Farming Association. He expressed gratitude by saying, “We are very thankful for the volunteers including Governor Lee who supported us through the program.”
President Han Hye-jin of Jincheon Moms’ Gathering said, “It would have been regrettable to see the flowers being thrown away due to the cancellations of school entrance and graduation ceremonies, so we worked to sell as many as 1,000 bunches of flowers last year.” She added, “We are happy to have been of help in picking out rose blooms and we will continue helping farmhouses that experience difficulties due to labor shortage.”
Productive labor service is a program aimed to resolve the issue of labor shortage in rural regions and small and medium businesses by connecting people who have the ability to work with the farmhouses and SMBs that are in need of such help. In this program, which was introduced in 2016 by Chungcheongbuk-do, as the first in Korea, 568,996 volunteers participated over the last four years and six months.
Last year, in particular, it provided considerable help to farmhouses suffering extreme labor shortage due to the blocked entry into the country by foreign laborers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chungcheongbuk-do has set up a plan for this year to actively provide helping hands to farmhouses and SMBs with 170,000 productive labor service volunteers.
All residents of Chungcheongbuk-do aged 75 years or less that are capable of working can participate in the program. The participants will be paid a prescribed amount of fees for their services. Anyone who wishes to participate in the program or farmhouses, and SMBs (i.e. manufacturing industry) in need of helping hands can send in applications to the employment department or volunteer center of the respective city or county.