Camp David Enterprises was looking Thursday for about 100 people to harvest Chelan cherries in Finley for a week in June.
Washington Potato Co. will need about 500 workers for processing corn from July through November.
They were among the 14 companies at the annual agricultural job fair in Kennewick, meeting and taking applications from about 350 job seekers.
Some people were so eager to find work that they started lining up outside the WorkSource Columbia Basin office at 6 a.m. -- three hours before the doors opened.
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Agriculture represents almost 10 percent of all Tri-City area jobs, with food processing adding another 3.4 percent, according to Ajsa Suljic, state regional labor economist.
In Benton and Franklin counties, about 10,500 jobs are tied to agriculture and about 3,800 more work in food processing, she said.
It's important to help agricultural find enough workers for their needs, said Michelle Mann, with WorkSource Columbia Basin.
In recent years, some farmers and processors reported an increasing problem finding enough skilled workers.
This year, WorkSource moved the agricultural job fair back to a weekday after trying a Saturday job fair that drew just 270 people last year. The year before the agency was overwhelmed with more than 700 job seekers.
Thursday, while some job openings were just seasonal, others were for year-round work, said Maria Montano, WorkSource's ag employment specialist.
Eydi Salazar of Kennewick, who was looking for a food processing job, was using a table in the hallway to fill out an application Thursday.
She said in Spanish that she needs to find work and it's helpful to come to a job fair where several employers are in the same place.
Hortencia Contreras of Pasco was looking for a job packing, cleaning, sorting or sanitizing crops -- all jobs she has done before. She was taking blank applications, and said in Spanish that she was hopeful about finding work.
Leah Soto, co-owner of the Wenatchee-based Camp David Enterprises, said they need workers who were able not only to pick, but also to drive tractors and forklifts and act as crew bosses.
And some of the pickers they hire for June's early cherry harvest may be asked to return when it's time to pick Rainier and Lapin cherries.
Washington Potato Co., which operates Pasco Processing and a freeze-pack facility, will double its Pasco Processing staff during the corn season.
Anette Vasquez, Washington Potato's human resources manager, said they need about 500 seasonal employees in addition to the 500 full-time workers they already have.
Positions include quality control and forklift drivers, Vasquez said. Another 70 positions were available at the company's freeze-pack onion facility.
She said the WorkSource job fair and a hiring event Washington Potato holds each summer help the company find enough workers, she said.
Courtesy Staffing of Pasco, which provides general labor to other companies, was looking for a variety of workers, including forklift drivers. And Dianna Devine, regional manager, said the company also had positions available for clerical workers and in human resources.
Employers said they were pleased with the number and quality of the applicants they connected with Thursday, Mann said.