State Grant To Prepare Laid Off Farm Workers For New Careers

A $6.4 million grant from the California Employment Development Department (EDD) will retrain 1,187 jobless migrant and seasonal farm workers statewide for promising new careers in the allied health field, industrial maintenance, retail trade/service, and the green and renewable energy sector.

“The recession dealt a heavy blow to farm workers statewide, a population already struggling with high unemployment,” said EDD Chief Deputy Director Sharon Hilliard. “This grant will help them move from jobs with few opportunities for advancement into new careers with bright futures. They will receive the training needed for a broad array of jobs, including positions in green and renewable energy.”

The grant was awarded to La Cooperativa Campesina de California, the statewide association of service providers implementing Workforce Investment Act Title I (a framework for the nation’s workforce development system) and the Community Services Block Grant (which provides funds to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in communities, particularly farmworker service programs. 

La Cooperativa provides services that focus on self-sufficiency through training and employment for farm workers throughout California, but especially in rural areas where farm workers live and work.

Funding for the program is drawn from the Governor’s 25 percent portion of Dislocated Worker Funds, Title I of the Workforce Investment Act, and is under the administrative authority of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s EDD.

For more information about this project, please contact Marco Lizarraga, La Cooperativa Campesina de California, at (916) 388-2220.

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