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Local business hiring displaced workers

Posted at 5:09 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 22:51:46-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Tex. — The coronavirus pandemic has left many local residents working from home, but others aren’t that lucky. However, at least one local business is helping people get back to work.

Chantal and Greg Escochea are among the many swept up by the wave of economic hard times. As schools and businesses closed, Chantal, a full-time student, and Greg, an oil field worker, suddenly found themselves with too much time but not enough money coming in.

“We have three kids at home,” said Chantal. “We had to find something to support them.”

The couple answered a Facebook ad, which led them to jobs with the Corpus Christi Produce Company.

“We just figured we’d help out, and also make a little money on the side,” said Greg.

C.C. Produce has more than doubled its workforce in the last two weeks, owner John Powell says it was important to him to fill those jobs with workers displaced from other industries.

“That was highly important to us,” said Powell. “The virus is scary, but the consequences of the virus and the economy are just as scary, especially for people who live paycheck to paycheck.”

People like the Escocheas. Now they’re working 8-10 hours a day, processing close to 150 produce orders.

“I’m not making hours out there, i’m not really doing anything so i might as well help out here, be in service to the public,” said Greg.

In the last two weeks, C.C. Produce has changed its business model. Instead of serving restaurants, the locally owned company now takes online orders for pickup and delivery.

“We’re not doing it to make money on it, we’re doing it as a service and to help people keep jobs,” said Powell.

The Escocheas are thankful to have work, and are proud to be helping the community.

“They’re catering a lot to elderly, those people, since they can’t go out,” said Chantal. “To them it’s a huge help because the company is making sure they’re taken care of, they’re not putting their health at risk.”

Powell says as long as they keep getting orders, those employees will continue to work.