Each day, La Cooperativa Campensina de California provides job training, employment assistance, and other resources to California farmworkers and their families. These services are offered through a group of advocates and service providers throughout the state of California. There are five La Cooperativa member organizations, with a total of 80 offices, who work with La Cooperativa to provide a wide assortment of services to the farm-working community. In order to make these services convenient and accessible for the farm working population in CA, these offices are primarily located in rural areas where agricultural workers live.
The member agencies that work with La Cooperativa are the Center for Employment Training (CET), the California Human Development (CHD), the Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC), Employers’ Training Resource (ETR), and Proteus Inc. These organizations work to provide help through training, education and referral services to people seeking self-sufficiency and independence. In addition to helping to make farmworkers aware of these organizations and their services, La Cooperativa also features a monthly radio show on Radio Bilingüe, which highlights the important topics discussed in the Voice of the Fields newsletter.
By reading on, you will find a brief overview of La Cooperativa’s member organizations, including where they are located and some of the services each of them provide to agricultural workers.
The Center for Employment Training
The CET has 17 centers located in five states. In California, the centers are located in Coachella, El Centro, Gilroy, Oxnard, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Jose, Santa Maria, Soledad, Temecula and Watsonville. The CET offers hands-on training to adults including job counselors who can assist you with development of your resume as well as interview support. They offer referrals for childcare while parents are working, supportive services for food and health care, legal services, and classes including General Education Development training. They also offer vocational education training with different classes offered at each location.
The CET also offers various immigration services including legal consultations and research, assistance with family visa petitions, consular processing translation of documents, and legal permanent resident card renewal and replacement. One of its top immigration services is the Citizenship class, which helps teach students the basics of the U.S. naturalization exam. From U.S. history and government, to English reading, writing and vocabulary; the Citizenship class also helps students with practice questions for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services interview. CET provides English as Second language financial literacy classes to help Spanish speakers learn about banking, budgeting, credit, investing, loans and home mortgages while developing an understanding of the risks and benefits inside of the United States’ financial system. Following this class, the CET matches two dollars ($2) for every one dollar ($1) saved by students up to $675. These funds are then to be used to pay for the naturalization application fee. To locate the nearest Center for Employment Training to you, visit their website: http://cetweb.org/for-students/locations/. You can also call 1 (800) 533- 2519 to speak with a representative.
The California Human Development (Northern California)
The California Human Development works with La Cooperativa to improve the lives of farmworkers and their families through education, vocational training, English literacy training, life skills training, on-the-job training, emergency services and adult work experience. The completion of this training will lead to a job placement, and will also lead the farmworker and their families to have more productive and prosperous lives. For eligible farmworkers, the CHD offers temporary housing assistance as farmworkers move from seasonal to year-round employment. Assistance provided through this program includes hotel vouchers, rent, mortgage, utility bills, and other shelter needs.
CHD also operates a mobile classroom called Jobs on Wheels, which serves rural farmworkers in Northern California. This mobile classroom offers ESL instruction, pesticide safety training and job training for upgraded agricultural careers. The Jobs on Wheels program works with agricultural employers to bring convenient, on-site programs to the farmworkers.
Located in Santa Rosa, Stockton, and Marysville, is the Anthony Soto Employment Training Centers, which offers farmworkers additional vocational training not offered at other CHD centers. These vocational skills include, truck driving, welding, forklift operating, shipping and receiving.
In San Joaquin County, CHD provides academic and career counseling to the children of farmworkers who are having difficulties in traditional school classrooms. This program, the San Joaquin CHD WorkStart Youth Program, pairs students with coordinators who help students obtain a high school diploma or GED and continue onto college. Emergency support services are offered to qualifying participants who require assistance. Those who need it, may receive emergency support services for rent, transportation, utilities, nutrition, child care, training materials, and other related needs to help them while they are enrolled in CHD training activities. Participants not enrolled in training may also receive some of these same services if the need arises during agricultural unemployment.
If you would like more information about emergency services, job training, information about education, housing services and more, and you are located in Northern California, contact the CHD at 1(707) 523-1155, or visit their website at http://californiahumandevelopment.org/, to find the nearest CHD office that can assist you.
Central Valley Opportunity Center (Central California Valley)
The mission of the Central Valley Opportunity Center is “to provide services that improve the quality of life for farm workers and others in need,” and the CVOC has been upholding this mission for 34 years.
The Central Valley Opportunity Center operates many employment, economic development and social service programs in central California. The service area for the CVOC is the counties of Stanislaus, Merced and Madera. The CVOC Seasonal Farmworker services include vocational education, remedial education, English language education, housing assistance, emergency supportive services, emergency food assistance, transportation, health care, childcare, energy assistance programs and more.
The CVOC works with individual farm workers to put them in a position to live independently and able to support his/her family.
The CVOC has three offices within the Central Valley to assist you. They are:
Stanislaus satellite Training Center
Frank M. Torrez Center
1581 Cummins Dr., Suite 100
Modesto, CA 95358
Merced Training Center
6838 Bridget Court P.O. Box 1389
Winton, CA 95388
1 (209) 357-0062
Madera satellite Training Center
455 S. Pine, Suite 101 Madera, CA
93637 1 (559) 662-0100
You can also visit the website for the CVOC at http://www.cvoc.org/home.html. There, you can find more information about the services and programs they provide.
Employers’ Training Resource
If you live in the Kern, Inyo, or Mono Counties, you can benefit from the services that Employers’ Training Resource provides at the location nearest to you. The ETR is given funding support through the National Farmworkers Job Program, a nationally-directed program providing employment, training services and housing assistance to migrant and seasonal farmworkers. As part of their support to farmworkers, the ETR offers English as a Second Language classes, GED classes and Job Search workshops for seasonal farmworkers. The ETR locations also work closely with One-Stop Career centers to provide counseling, vocational training for in-demand jobs, work experience, assistance with job searches, access to services needed for job searches, referrals to job openings, and supportive services, including referrals to receive emergency medical, shelter and food services.
Additionally, Employers’ Training Resource has strong working relationships with many employers in Kern County, which helps to place job-seekers in longterm, year-round employment.
To locate the closest Employers’ Training Resource center to you, call tollfree 1 (800) 203-2623, or visit http://www.etronline.com/contact-locations.asp. There, you will find a list of the centers with local addresses and phone numbers.
Proteus is an education, employment and community service organization which provides services to the Central Valley (the counties of Tulare, Kern, Fresno and Kings) as well as Northern Los Angeles. Along with the vocational training and other services listed above, Proteus works with the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs to host farmworker safety programs.
For those people without a means of transportation, Proteus provides a Mobile Employment Center which could help provide you with:
- Internet access
- Skills Assessment
- Resume and Interview help
- Job search assistance
- Consultations with job specialists
For those farmworkers who would like to take their educational goals further, Proteus Inc. offers academic scholarships to deserving students through a competitive application process. Qualifying applicants must be lowincome farmworkers, low-income Proteus customers (within the last two years), or a family member of either category. If you would like more information about scholarship opportunities offered through Proteus, Inc., please contact Elizabeth Camargo at 1 (559) 591-5701.
Proteus also works with energy companies throughout the State to offer families free or lower-cost energy services including new energy efficient appliances, replacement of old or broken furnaces and more. In addition, Proteus offers discounted energy bills for those who qualify through the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program. If you are interested in learning more about these energy services, call 1 (888) 255-2142.
Visit the Proteus website to find a service center near you at http://www.proteusinc.org. You can also call 1 (888) 776-9998 to speak with a Proteus representative.
Employment Development Department
As mentioned earlier in the article, La Cooperativa and its members are committed to helping agricultural workers become better educated, self-sufficient members of California. To do so, La Cooperativa and its member organizations receive support from California’s Employment Development Department (EDD). To ensure all service members, and La Cooperativa, are giving farmworkers the most current information, they also work closely with the EDD to stay updated on employment news and information.
Voice of the Fields Newsletter and the La Cooperativa Campesina de California Monthly Radio Show
In addition to all of the services above, La Cooperativa develops, with support from the EDD, this Voice of the Fields Newsletter you are reading. Each month, this newsletter is distributed across the state to keep you informed about issues that could affect many parts of your life.
To supplement the Newsletter, each month, Radio Bilingue reporter Alma Martinez hosts a radio program providing you with in-depth information on issues discussed in the monthly Voice of the Fields newsletter. For each show, experts are invited come on and expand on the monthly newsletter topics. To find a Radio Bilingüe station near you, visit www.radiobilingue. org. You can also access past programs on the La Cooperativa website.
To learn more about La Cooperativa, visit their website at http://www.lacooperativa.org/. There, you will also find links and information about the members and services mentioned above. You can also call 1 (916) 388-2220 to speak with someone at La Cooperativa Campesina de California.
Voice of the Fields Newsletter and the La Cooperativa Campesina de California Monthly Radio Show
In addition to all of the services above, La Cooperativa develops, with support from the EDD, this Voice of the Fields Newsletter you are reading. Each month, this newsletter is distributed across the state to keep you informed about issues that could affect many parts of your life. To supplement the Newsletter, each month, Radio Bilingue reporter Alma Martinez hosts a radio program providing you with in-depth information on issues discussed in the monthly Voice of the Fields newsletter. For each show, experts are invited come on and expand on the monthly newsletter topics. To find a Radio Bilingüe station near you, visit www.radiobilingue.org. You can also access past programs on the La Cooperativa website. To learn more about La Cooperativa, visit their website at http://www.lacooperativa.org/. There, you will also find links and information about the members and services mentioned above. You can also call 1 (916) 388-2220 to speak with someone at La Cooperativa Campesina de California.