Since April of last year, the Galletti branch of the state office has found work for 3,731 people out of the 7,524 who have registered with them, a placement rate of 49.5%.
Waiting for work at the day labor office has its advantages. As the rain falls in the 40 degree air outside, laborers across the street, on the Reno side of Galletti, who offer their services independent of the day labor office, must battle the elements. Meanwhile, Luna and others can have their cup of coffee and watch television. That’s not to say they’ve never crossed the street.
“I ran across one [a day laborer] that had a business building cabins in Oregon before he
came here. He built a deck for me, and a couple of years later I ran across him and he had married, created his own business down here, had a little baby, and was well on his way. It was just – he needed some help when he first got down here,” said Whitaker. “I’m a Christian and that’s one of the things I read in the Bible, that one of the things I’m supposed to do is help people, and I think that’s one of my roles in life.”
As Clemens waits for his name or number to be called, an announcement goes out over the loud speaker calling someone to the office. It is not Clemens. He turns his attention back to the television at the front of the room. Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton are attacking each other on the Today Show. Someone sitting by the TV loudly says “When are those two just going to get married, already?” A laugh ripples through the room.