By: Rob Delaney, CCI Greenheart Work and Travel Employer Services Coordinator

The Summer Work Travel program is designed to bring participants to the U.S. to learn about American culture and also to get some professional experience at a summer job.  Nothing could be more American than spending your summer working at a Major League Baseball stadium! A highlight of my Going Greenheart Tours this year was taking part in a batting practice session with a group of CCI Greenheart participants who were working at Minute Maid Park for the Houston Astros.

In late August, my colleague Irina and I visited Houston, Texas where we met with the participants and their manager.  During the visit, we all participated in a baseball field clean-up with the Astros Foundation’s Urban Youth Academy.  After helping out with some field maintenance, Irina and I got to see our participants in action in the batting cage.  For many of them, it was their first time at bat.  It was great to see them having so much fun!

Some of the participants I spoke to during our visit explained to me the rhythm of their jobs.  Irina and I saw the importance of keeping the store well-stocked and organized, and learned how busy the store gets on game days. In just the past year, the store has seen participants from the Philippines, Jamaica, Turkey, Romania, and China!

Many participants I met in Houston said that baseball was unknown or unpopular in their home countries. However, by the time we visited, many of them had already picked their favorite player and educated me on the ups and downs of the team’s season. Two lucky participants were even given free tickets to a baseball game by their manager. Irina and I were fortunate enough to attend the game with both girls. It was a homerun victory for the Astros and was capped off by a round of fireworks.

We both had such a great time and want to thank all our participants and their supervisors at the ballpark for giving us a glimpse of their summer with the team!

Do you want to work with international participants for your busy season? Consider working with CCI Greenheart!