Dec 14, 2011
California to spend $6.4 million to retrain farm workers

Some laid-off California farm workers with no prospects for other seasonal work are to be retrained for new careers, the state said.

The Employment Development Department says it will spend $6.4 million on the effort. Around 1,000 workers would be retrained, it said.

“Unemployment has soared in California’s farming communities to a level not seen since the Great Depression, as much as double the statewide rate in some rural areas,” said Marty Morgenstern, secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. “The recession has dealt some of its most severe blows to seasonal farm workers. This funding will equip these workers with the tools needed to quickly move forward with their lives and into a broader array of job possibilities.”

La Cooperativa Campesina de California and its five member-agencies — the Center for Employment Training; California Human Development Corporation; Central Valley Opportunity Center; Employers’ Training Resource; and Proteus Inc. — will use the funds to retrain 1,091 jobless farm workers for jobs in industries that are doing comparatively better during the Great Recession, including the allied health field, industrial maintenance, retail trade/service, and the green and renewable energy sector. Central Valley Business Times

Read more of the story here.


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