Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 July 2022
Although employers tend to downplay “leakage” from guest worker programs – or guest workers breaking their contracts or remaining after their contract season in the United States and Canada to become undocumented workers – much of the local ethnic entrepreneurship in Eastern North Carolina originated among women and men who were former guest workers. This chapter profiles two women who established an income tax service after originally coming to North Carolina as seafood guest workers, finding conditions in one of the plants unbearable. It then discusses, more generally, business establishment by immigrants in the region. By founding businesses, these immigrant owners have developed cultural labor – or the labor designed to promote cultural heritage – which serves as a key component of the migration economy of the region.