Latinx and H2B Tree Workers In New England

Dr. Julie Keller: Leading Researcher, Associate Professor of Sociology
Matty Accinno: Research Assistant, URI ’23 Senior and Tree worker

The tree care industry is a labor-intensive field that requires physical strength and endurance, and Latinx workers have made significant contributions to this industry. In many regions of the United States, Latin American immigrants have found employment in the tree care industry due to the demand for manual labor. In some cases, these workers have brought with them traditional tree care techniques and cultural practices from their home countries, helping to enrich and diversify the field. It’s important to note that the tree care industry, like many manual labor industries, can be hazardous, and workers in this field face significant risks, including the risk of injury from falling from heights or being hit by falling limbs. As a result, proper training and safety measures are crucial to ensure the well-being of these workers. Dr. Keller and Matty Accinno have developed a survey that aims to measure the socio-economic benefits of the H2B program for Latinx tree workers in New England while also placing importance and understanding on health, safety, and the camaraderie within the industry. This research can inform policies on healthy workplaces in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and beyond.