National Farmworker Jobs Program Overview
The National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) is a nationally directed program of job training and employment assistance for migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs). It is authorized by Congress in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Section 167 to counter the impact of the chronic unemployment and underemployment experienced by migrant and seasonal farmworkers who primarily depend on jobs in agricultural labor. Since its inception with the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, the NFJP has been an integral part of the national workforce strategy. MSFWs now access NFJP and other employment assistance through the One-Stop Centers of the workforce investment system.
The NFJP provides funding to community-based organizations and public agencies that assist migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families attain greater economic stability. The program assists farmworkers acquire new job skills in occupations that offer higher wages and a more stable employment outlook. In addition to skills training, the program provides supportive services that help farmworkers remain and stabilize their employment in agriculture. The NFJP also facilitates coordination of services through the One-Stop system for MSFWs so they may access the other services of the workforce system.
Services are provided by public agencies and private nonprofit organizations selected by the Department of Labor through a competitive process. They may include classroom and on-the-job training, as well as some supportive services such as nutrition, health, child care and temporary shelter. The NFJP grants are not available to individuals. The services available for assisting MSFWs, are:
WIA Core Serviceswhich include skills assessment, job search, WIA program eligibility determination and access for MSFWs to the other core services of the Local One Stop Center;
WIA Intensive Serviceswhich include objective assessment, basic education and employment development planning achieved through a case management based individual service strategy,
Training Serviceswhich include occupational skills and job training, including on- the-job-training (OJT); and
Related Assistance Serviceswhich include short term direct assistance to address an urgent or life threatening matter that enable farmworkers (including their family members) to retain their agricultural employment or to participate in Intensive or Training Service activities. The costs may be borne by grant funding when local community resources are not made available to them.
The NFJP serves eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents. Eligible farmworkers are those individuals who primarily depend on employment in agricultural labor that is characterized by chronic unemployment and underemployment.
For Program Year 2005, $71.2 million was awarded through competitive grants.
Number of Grantees
There is a grantee in every state and Puerto Rico , except in Alaska and the District of Columbia . In addition, there are 5 grantees in California .
Number of Participants
29,372 MSFW participants received services in PY 2004, of which 10,538 were job training recipients.
Quarterly Performance Data For Program Year 2004:
Preliminary data for the quarter ending 06/30/05
Entered Employment Rate = 88% (goal = 75%)
Average Earnings Gain = $4,630 (annualized, goal =$3,200)
Employment Retention Rate = 79% (goal = 75%)
Preliminary data for the quarter ending 03/31/05
Entered Employment Rate = 90% (goal = 75%)
Average Earnings Gain = $4,917 (annualized, goal =$3,200)
Employment Retention Rate = 78% (goal = 75%)
Preliminary data for the quarter ending 12/31/04
Entered Employment Rate = 88% (goal = 75%)
Average Earnings Gain = $4,265 (annualized, goal =$3,200)
Education/Occupation Credential Rate = 80.8%
Employment Retention Rate = 77.5% (goal = 75%)
Annual Performance Data For Program Year 2003:
Entered Employment Rate = 91% (goal = 75%)
Entered Employment Rate = 84% (goal = 63%)
Average Earnings Gain = $4,174 (annualized, goal =$2,965)
Education/Occupation Credential Rate = 84%
Employment Retention Rate = 84% (goal = 80%)
Objectives for the NFJP during PY 2004
Increasing farmworker access to the other services of the One-Stop system through better collaborations and co-enrollments with other partners.
Increasing “cross-training” opportunities to enable farmworkers to qualify for those higher paying jobs in agriculture having growth potential.
Improving MSFW access to services to improve their English language proficiency and to develop their basic skills with computers to learn to use the Internet as a source of information on employment and job training.
The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs' (AFOP) mission is to improve the quality of life for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families by working with the member organizations that serve them. Members include nonprofit and other public organizations who receive employment and training housing assistance grants under Section 167 of the Workforce Investment Act.
The AFOP assists the Division of Seasonal Farmworker Programs by providing capacity building, technical assistance, and training to National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) grantees. Projects include peer-to-peer technical assistance for grantees and WIA-related training at annual and regional membership conferences
Funding is provided through a competition to community-based organizations to ensure that housing supportive services are provided, as a first priority to eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers who have the greatest housing assistance need. Housing assistance includes direct payments for emergency and temporary housing and for direct investments in housing assistance for migrant and seasonal farmworkers at their home base. Other indirect assistance includes leveraging services to increase or maintain housing stock available to farmworkers and housing development designed to improve living conditions for underserved farmworker communities.
ETA Office Contact
Alina Walker, Chief, Division of Seasonal Farmworker Programs at 202-693-2706