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Rural laborers find work in the capital

By Xu Xiao | China Daily | Updated: 2010-04-28 07:55

Rural laborers find work in the capital

A wetland park project in Harbin, is a buzzing construction site, providing employment for many rural workers.

While wiping the dust off his face, Li Shuchang said: "I never imagined that at over 50, I would lead 40 people from my village to earn money in the city."

Li and his team were busy welding iron parts on a scaffold for the project in Heilongjiang province.

Li, 52, comes from a small village. Shortly after the project started, he brought 41 fellow townsmen aged from 24 to 62 to the capital to work.

"I was a farmer before, but last year the harvest was not good. As soon as I heard of this project, I came here."

Xu Xuehui, who is in charge of the wetland park program, said that the project welcomed the migrant worker group.

At another place in the park, a young man named Zhao Yan was carefully measuring machines.

At just 25 years old, Zhao earns a monthly salary of 5,000 yuan for his expertise.

"I graduated from a technical college in 2008 and worked as a technician in a provincial enterprise. This year a friend recommended this job to me, and I really cherish the opportunity," Zhao said.

Another worker, Dong Haichao, 33 years old, was one of the first project workers. A farmer before, he is now part of the management team. Recently Dong brought his parents to his new home in the capital city.

"My wife and child are living in Harbin now, 2,000-3,000 yuan a month is enough for my family to live a happy life here," Dong said.

"I feel very fortunate to get a good job. I will work even harder in the future to make more progress," he added.

Construction in the park is expected to be complete by August, in time for the park opening in November.

In total, nearly 1,000 staff including workers, technicians and a managing team are involved in the project, most of whom come within the province.

However, "we do need more people," Xu said.

The province has undertaken 300 big projects like the wetland park project in 2009, attracting 160 billion yuan in investment and directly creating 160,000 jobs.

The government has made it a priority to promote employment of college and university graduates, farmers, and low-income families.

Big projects, especially related to infrastructure facilities, will absorb as many rural laborers as possible, according to the provincial government.

(China Daily 04/28/2010 page15)

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