Costa Announces $1.8 Million for Farmworker Job Training

Washington, D.C.-  Rep. Jim Costa announced that Central Valley Opportunity Center Inc. has been awarded $1.8 million to provide educational and employment training to farmworkers in Merced, Madera, and Stanislaus Counties. The U.S. Department of Labor released these funds through the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP).

“On a recent visit to the Madera service center, I saw instructors helping dislocated farmworkers learn new technologies and prepare for an ever-changing workforce,”said Costa. “CVOC transforms lives through training dislocated workers for good paying jobs along with teaching life skills necessary to be successful and self-sufficient. Graduates of their programs are better prepared to provide for their families and give back to our community.”

CVOC’s Executive Director, Ernie Flores added, “Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC) is extremely pleased to have been once again awarded this U. S. Department of Labor Workforce Investment Act grant. Our clients are trained in welding, truck driving, business occupations, cooking and Solar Panel installation, and also receive GED and English classes while they are in training. With these services our farm worker clients are able to compete for year around jobs and contribute to the local economy, something that would be difficult to do without these Federal resources."

CVOC has successfully operated NFJP services in Madera, Merced and Stanislaus counties for the past 30 years. The grant allows them to provide educational, employment and vocational training services to more than 300 migrant and seasonal farm workers in their service area every year.  They currently have a placement rate of 85% and a retention rate of 84%.

The Department of Labor’s National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) is authorized under the Workforce Investment Act. NFJP helps farmworkers upgrade their agricultural job skills or acquire new skills in industries that often offer more stable employment.  In addition, the program provides supportive services such as transportation, nutrition, and child care, which help remove barriers to farmworkers pursuing training and enable them to begin new careers and retain their employment.