Washington Apples

27 10 2011

Ok, here’s a change of pace.  Instead of looking at a piece of literature, today we’re going to look at a real world problem.  I’m going to start by giving you a list of facts.

Fact 1: Washington State is called the apple capital of the world.

Fact 2: There are dozens and dozens of apple orchards (apple farms) in Washington.

Fact 3: Many of those apple farms are in danger of going out of business.

Fact 4: Apple farmers need to have all the apples picked out of their trees before it starts getting real cold.  Washington is so far north that the cold weather is really close.  If the apples aren’t picked before they start to freeze, they won’t be good anymore.

Fact 5: If the apples aren’t picked in time, the farms will lose so much money that many of them will go out of business.

Fact 6: The reason the apples might not get picked in time is there aren’t enough workers.  One apple farm, for example, says they usually have about 80 workers to get the apples picked in time.  Right now they only have about 60 workers, and the owner of the farm thinks they won’t get all the apples picked in time.

Fact 7: In Washington State, there are currently more than 200,000 adults out of work.

Fact 8: Many of the apple farmers, desperate for help, went to Washington unemployment offices (a government building where adults who don’t have a job can get help getting work and get money from the government to help them until the find a job) and asked hundreds of people who don’t have jobs if they would come work for them picking apples.

Fact 9: Even after the apple farmers went to the unemployment offices to find workers, they’re still not enough people to pick all the apples, because most of the people they talked to said that they’d rather have no job at all than have to work picking apples.

Fact 10: In the past, most apples were picked by workers from Mexico who came into America illegally, but new laws have made it so there are less Mexican workers here to help pick the apples.

Think about those 10 facts.  Now pretend you are in charge – you are the Governor of Washington state.  What do you do to make sure the apple farms, which are one of the most important industries in Washington, don’t go out of business?

Put your answer in the comments section below.

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