National Farmworker Jobs Program to Help Migrant, Seasonal Farmworkers with Job Training and Career Readiness

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Many farmers and ranchers across the country rely on migrant or seasonal farmworkers. The National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) assists those farmworkers with employment and training opportunities.

“Our nation’s more than 2 million farmworkers play a large role in the U.S. agricultural sector, helping to put fruit and vegetables on the tables of homes across the country,” said Renato Rocha, Senior Policy Advisor for Employment and Training at the U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL).  

The National Farmworker Jobs Program serves migrant and seasonal farmworkers who are low–income and employed in agricultural or fish farming labor. 

“The purpose of the National Farmworker Jobs Program is to strengthen the ability of migrant and seasonal farmworkers, and their dependents, to acquire the necessary skills to either stabilize or advance in their agricultural jobs or obtain employment in other industries,” said Rocha. 

The DOL recently announced $90 million for the program to provide 50-75 grants for career services like resume readiness, workforce training and even tutoring. 

“There are many types of organizations that are eligible to apply to the National Farmworker Jobs Program,” said Rocha.

To be eligible, Rocha says organizations need to have an understanding of migrant and seasonal farmworkers, a familiarity with the agriculture sector and the labor market needs of their area and the ability to effectively deliver the workforce training and career services to the farmworkers and their families.

“The types of services that grantees would be delivering under this grant include services such as resumé readiness, workforce training, tutoring for for youth,” said Rocha.

Some Republican lawmakers say they support efforts for a stronger agriculture workforce, but say that more money isn’t always the answer. 

“Solutions don’t always come in the form of more money. Sometimes it’s how we do with what we have,” said Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R- PA), the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. 

Thompson says he recently assembled a bipartisan task force to come up with policy solutions for the agriculture workforce. 

“Agriculture experts were the ones that I brought to the table with what we’re working on. And it’s not necessarily more money, quite frankly, it’s how it’s executed, it’s how it’s administered,” said Rep. Thompson. 

He says a strong workforce is essential to food and national security. 

“Making sure that we have certainty, without certainty of agriculture workforce, which is the path we’re on right now, we wind up with food insecurity and that leads to national insecurity,” said Thompson. 

See more information about the National Farmworker Jobs Program, here.