Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program
The National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) is a nationally-directed program created by Congress in response to the chronic seasonal unemployment and underemployment experienced by migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs). The NFJP offers assistance that strengthens the ability of farm workers and their families to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Since its inception with the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, the farmworker program has been an integral part of the national workforce strategy.
The NFJP is currently authorized under section 167 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, and is a required partner of the local One-Stop delivery system.
What does NFJP do for farm workers?
The NFJP provides funding and services to eligible MFSWs to help them achieve economic self-sufficiency. We can provide supportive services while they work in their current job, and then assist them in acquiring a new job that offers better pay and a more stable employment outlook. NFJP services include:
- Career Services– skills assessment, job search, WIOA program eligibility determination and access to other career services of the local One-Stop Center
- Individualized Career Services– These services allow farm workers and their family members to acquire skills that permit them to progress to other employment outside of farm work, or to upgrade employment within agriculture. These services include objective assessment, basic education and employment development planning.
- Related Assistance Services– These services contribute to the stabilization of the farm workers’ continued employment in farm work or support the farm worker during job training. These services include short-term forms of direct assistance to farm workers and their families who have an urgent need for food or housing.
The Related Assistance Services contribute to the stabilization of the farm workers’ continued employment in farm work or support the farm worker during job training. Farm workers access assistance by contacting SER at 1-877-664-5372 or (316) 264-5372 or through their local One Stop Centers.
Who is Eligible for the NFJP?
To be eligible for participation in the NFJP an individual:
- Must be a citizen or national of the United States, a lawfully admitted permanent resident alien, refugee, refugee under asylum, parolee or other individual legally authorized to work in the United States and;
- Must have not violated Section 3 of the Military Selective Service Act by knowingly and willfully failing to register for the Selective Service registration and;
- Must have been a disadvantaged MSFWs during any consecutive 12 month period within the most recent 24 month period prior to application, or
- Be the spouse of the eligible farmworker and meet requirements 1 and 2 above; or
- Be the dependent of the eligible farmworker and meet requirements 1 and 2 above.
A “seasonal farmworker” means a low income individual who, for 12 consecutive months out of the 24 months prior to application for the program involved, has been primarily employed in agricultural or fish farming labor, that is characterized by chronic unemployment or underemployment; and faces multiple barriers to economic self-sufficiency; and dependents of the seasonal farmworker as described in WIOA 167 (i) (3) are also eligible. A “migrant farmworker” means an eligible seasonal farmworker, as defined in the WIOA 167 (i) (3), whose agricultural labor requires travel to a job site such that the farmworker is unable to return to a permanent place of residence within the same day; and dependents of the migrant farmworker, as described in WIOA 167 (i) (2) are also eligible.
Who are the people being served? People like Julio.
At the age of 16, Julio Vasquez Piña began working the harvest fields in Granada, Colorado, with his father. They traveled across Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas during the hottest time of the summer and toiled in back-breaking conditions. Julio remembers the heat being so bad he often felt he was going to pass out. One day he asked his father how he has survived this work. His father told Julio he did it hoping for a better life for his family.
Julio has always been intrigued with automobiles. He enrolled into Northwest Technical College (NWTC) in Goodland, Kansas, to study Automotive Technology. Julio’s background as a migrant worker qualified him to be part of the SER National Farmworker Jobs Training Program (NFJP). He received help with tuition and supportive services. Julio completed training in May 2012. His excellent work ethic and dedication served him well. He was presented with multiple job offers and accepted a good paying position with benefits at Lewis Toyota in Dodge City, KS.