A Fresno raisin company is offering new forklift drivers a USD5,000 sign-on bonus.
Sun-Maid Growers of America, an agricultural cooperative, is hoping the bonus will help fill positions at it Kingsburg facility.
The bonus is being offered in a tight labour market, according to the company.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of material moving machine operators, including industrial tractor operators (forklift drivers), is projected to grow 7% between 2020 to 2030, with around 84,300 new driver jobs each year.
Data from the California Employment Development Department shows even higher expected growth in Fresno County, where industrial truck and tractor operator jobs are expected to grow 9.5%, while material moving roles will rise by 11.7%.
The company says the bonus is designed to “attract and retain excellent employees who really want to make a career at Sun-Maid”.
New employees will receive the first half of the bonus after completing 30 days on the job. The second half will be paid upon completion of a 720-hour probationary period, or about 18 weeks.
For the forklift driver positions, applicants will undergo a forklift driving test at an onsite obstacle course. The company expects applicants to have a current licence.