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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [03/16/2011]
Contact Name: Lina Garcia or Dave Roberts
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661 or x5945
Release Number: 11-0268-NAT

US Department of Labor announces 2 grant competitions to provide career training and housing to farmworkers

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced two grant competitions for the National Farmworker Jobs Program. One competition will fund organizations that will provide training, the other housing services, to migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families.

"Our nation's prosperity is linked to the labors of farmworkers across the United States," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "By supporting skills training and related housing services for farmworkers, the Labor Department will help them improve their career outcomes, and that is a win for all of us."

The National Farmworker Jobs Program helps farmworkers upgrade their agricultural job skills or acquire new ones in occupations that offer higher wages and more stable employment. In addition, the program provides supportive services such as child care, health care and transportation. These services remove barriers to farmworkers beginning or remaining in training, and enable them to retain their employment.

The housing portion of the program allows organizations to provide permanent housing assistance, temporary and/or emergency housing assistance, or a combination of both. Specific types of activities allowed are defined in the solicitation for grant applications. Typically, housing assistance grantees provide these services in more than one state or areas of a single state.

The National Farmworker Jobs Program is authorized by Congress in Section 167 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to counter the impact of chronic unemployment and underemployment experienced by migrant and seasonal farmworkers who depend primarily on agricultural jobs.

Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to, community-based and public agencies that assist farmworkers and their families in attaining greater economic stability.

This competition is being conducted before the passage of the Department of Labor's fiscal year 2011 appropriation in anticipation of funds being made available for National Farmworker Jobs Program grants, but the department will not obligate any funds for 2011 grants until they are appropriated by Congress.

Notices of both solicitations for grant applications will be published in the March 17 edition of the Federal Register. To view the full solicitations online, visit http://www.doleta.gov/grants/find_grants.cfm or http://www.grants.gov.