Streamlining permitting and the multiple millions of dollars being spent through NOAA and the Governor's "Shellfish Initiative" were promoted in December as a way to get the unemployed in rural counties back to work with "family wage jobs."
In February the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, based in Olympia, was in Washington DC telling Congress:
"The current domestic workforce is not able to provide sufficient qualified workers for the shellfish industry."
They went on to say, "Among Washington shellfish growers, I-9 audits confirmed that employers were complying with the law, however many of these employers were directed to terminate large numbers of workers who proved to be not work authorized." (i.e., the foreign workers did not have the proper documentation)
Spending millions of dollars to create jobs which only migrant workers are interested in is something taxpayers should question.