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NEW AEWR for 2023 Released

The U.S. Department of Labor released their annual survey of Adverse Effect Wage Rates, otherwise referred to as AEWRs, on the eve of Thanksgiving Day.  While we did anticipate rate increases across the board, nothing led us to even imagine what this new reality brings forth.  The national average (increase in the Adverse Effect Wage Rate) for H-2A workers is a whopping 6.81% increase over last year, with all major watermelon producing areas hammered with significant increases.  The released numbers will become the AEWRs for 2023 (under the current methodology) when they are published by DOL in the Federal Register.  The attached spreadsheet shows the 2021 and 2022 average wage, field and livestock workers, combined ….… and the new numbers for the 2023 AEWRs.  It also shows the percent increase by state or region of the country.   


The national average (increase in the Adverse Effect Wage Rate) for H-2A workers is a whopping 6.81% increase over last year, with all major watermelon producing areas hammered with significant increases.  The released numbers will become the AEWRs for 2023 (under the current methodology) when they are published by DOL in the Federal Register.  The attached spreadsheet shows the 2021 and 2022 average wage, field and livestock workers, combined ….… and the new numbers for the 2023 AEWRs.  It also shows the percent increase by state or region of the country.   
 
This survey is used by DOL to determine the 2023 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWR), which as you know are wages that must be paid to H-2A workers in the U.S.  And, also paid to domestic workers if you are a H-2A employer.  The AEWR is determined by a formula developed by DOL, who claim it to be developed to protect the domestic workforce from having their wages depressed by foreign agricultural workers.  The results, as we all know, are far different, and they result in increased wages across the entirety of the system. 
 
Many feel this data and the formula that DOL uses is inappropriate and does not rely on true wage cost for those who use the H-2A program.  As a result of this survey and using the DOL wage formula, we anticipate the national AEWR will be $16.62.  Across the country, individual state AEWR’s will range from between $13.67 to a high of $18.65 in California.  The highest single increase on a percentage basis will be in Florida, where the AEWR increased by almost 15.5%.
 
While we expect the DOL’s proposed rule (new methodology) to be released very soon, it is expected to also increase wages with different job classes broken out, as well as other anticipated changes.  When the proposed rule will be released, or take effect, is yet unknown.  Until then, we are ‘stuck’ with this rate schedule from DOL.
 
We have heard so much rhetoric from our elected officials about the rising cost of food and inflation taking off, but yet they continue to politicize the ‘idea’ of immigration reform while we remain with a dire need of and access to a viable, legal and affordable workforce.  Something has to give - - something positive for a change - - and soon.  It just must.

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Many Reasons .... So We Broke Them Down to a Top Ten!

Here are the top ten reasons why this upcoming national convention is more important than any in recent memory:
 
#10 ….. It’s all about Fellowship; being together to kick off another domestic season while the import season ramps up for a triumphant ending.
 
#9 ….. The Spa at the Omni Grove Park Inn is one of the best rated spas in the world.  Only hotel guests are admitted with a reservation to this incredible venue.
 
#8 ….. The Arnold Mack Memorial Golf Tournament will take place at the Donald Ross designed course at the base of Sunset Mountain.  You won’t believe the layout, the design, the elevation changes and the beauty that golf has to offer.
 
#7 ….. Asheville is plentiful with a vibrant music scene, serves as the craft beer capitol of the U.S., home to the largest private home in America – The Biltmore, and sits in the foothills of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains.  Come back to Asheville and experience all of its splendor. 
 
#6 ….. This convention’s annual auction will have surprise after surprise, plus a two-day silent and our ever-popular memorabilia auction.  Come one – come all; bid often, and win what you want.
 
#5 ….. If there is ever an event to network with suppliers, shippers, farmers and more, this is it …… this is the place …… the National Watermelon Association National Convention 2023.  This will be one for the record books and memories for years to come. 
 
#4 ….. Our national convention has become known as our annual watermelon family reunion, and this year will be very special for us.  Reasons 3-2-1 will explain why.
 
#3 ….. Meet your new Executive Director, who will take over the reigns soon after the convention concludes and lead the NWA into the future.
 
#2 ….. We will bid farewell to our own Miss Eleanor as she embarks onto retirement and turns the program over to the very capable Miss Kerri Wiggins of Center, Texas.  Come say goodbye and thanks to Eleanor for her 40 years of service at a special tribute during the Saturday awards banquet.
 
#1 ….. And last, but most certainly not least, we will celebrate the career and upcoming retirement of our Executive Director, Bob Morrissey, in a special celebration planned for Friday evening.  Bob’s contributions throughout his leadership of the NWA have brought the association to levels that we never imagined, and we will celebrate him (and Betsy) before they turn over the reins to his successor and embark on a new adventure (and a new home in North Carolina).  
 
Stay tuned as new information about the convention will be coming very shortly, including the Friday evening retirement celebration, and more.  Please join us to express our thanks, our love, and our appreciation for Bob, and for Eleanor, welcome a new leader, and help us to make the send off memorable while we continue to build this wonderful association ‘one farm and one business at a time’.  This is our time - - Let’s celebrate it together!  Come to Asheville in February ’23. 

      

 

 

What can we do in the area?

 
This section will offer a few outside events to our attendees through a local firm called Accents on Asheville. They will offer a tour of The Biltmore Mansion, waterfall hiking trip, fly fishing trip and art tour. We'll post the details of each event along with the pricing and links for them to book whatever they wish directly with Michael's firm. Feature Events Coming Soon. 

 

Explore Asheville

 


For Everything Asheville – things to do - what’s happening around town – exploring – nature – restaurants – tours - entertainment - and more, Explore Asheville is the place to go. They are the convention and visitors experts of Asheville. Take a look.


 

 
 
 

 
Explore Asheville

     


        

 

For Everything Asheville – things to do - what’s happening around town – exploring – nature – restaurants – tours - entertainment - and more, Explore Asheville is the place to go.  They are the convention and visitors experts of Asheville.  Take a look.

 

 

Accents on Asheville



Five Outdoor Events Offered on Wednesday, February 22nd

The minimum participants for each event are:

Biltmore tour = 20 people
Fly Fishing = 2 people
Art Safari = 10 people
Waterfall Hike = 10 people
Microbrewery Tour = 10 people


Please Click HERE for Activities Form

Simply fill out the form and return it with your payment to Accents on Asheville. 

These events are ONLY OFFERED here on our website, so reserve your spot TODAY!

 

 

 
 

 
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