The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the availability of up to $91.8 million in grant funding to support the economic stability of farmworkers through the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP), overseen by the department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA).
The NFJP is a nationally directed, locally administered competitive grant program that provides funding for community-based organizations and public agencies to provide career services, training services, youth services, related assistance services and housing assistance to eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents. ETA awards NFJP grants every four years though a funding opportunity announcement.
“During this unprecedented time of economic disruption caused by the coronavirus, we must support our nation’s food supply and the farmworkers critical to maintaining it,” says John Pallasch, assistant secretary of the ETA. “Communities that invest in their farmworkers are investing in America’s farming industry and its future.”
Grants are to be awarded to eligible entities, such as state workforce agencies, workforce agencies of outlying areas, non-profits or Tribal organizations to support projects designed to:
- Help farmworkers and their dependents acquire necessary skills to either stabilize or advance in their agricultural jobs or obtain employment in new industries or occupation.
- Assist these individuals in securing safe and sanitary permanent and temporary housing.
Grantees awarded under this announcement must actively partner with the State Monitor Advocates and nearby American Job Centers to deliver comprehensive, work-based learning services and create pathways that lead to better economic outcomes for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents.
Authorized by Section 167 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and appropriated by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, this round of NJFP funding will be awarded in two categories: housing and career and training. The department intends to award an estimated 52 career and training grants totaling approximately $85.2 million and an estimated 7-20 housing grants totaling approximately $6.1 million. Applicants may receive funding in one or both categories, but must submit separate applications if they wish to apply for funding in both categories.
ETA administers federal job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.