La Cooperativa Campesina de California is the statewide association of service providers implementing Workforce Investment Act Title I Section 167 and CSBG farmworker service programs. La Cooperativa is a California 501 c (3) corporation. The Board of Directors consists of representatives from member agencies and from the Employment Development Department (EDD). Members provide services throughout California but especially in rural areas where farmworkers live and work. Our diverse services have self-sufficiency through training and employment for farmworkers as a focal point.
- Association capability includes:
- 85 service and access sites primarily in California’s agricultural counties
- Proven farmworker outreach capability
- Diverse training and self-sufficiency services
- Combined job development force of 500
- Combined budgets of over $100,000,000
- Statewide and local partnering
- Rapid response ability during times of disaster
Training services include ESL, GED, adult and family literacy, basic education, vocational education, and employer based training. Related services such as childcare, transportation, emergency services, housing, counseling, job placement, and follow up services enhance these training efforts. In times of crisis La Cooperativa has quickly implemented community employment projects to provide replacement income to disaster affected workers and communities. La Cooperativa assists its members with programs of technical assistance, linkages, coordination, information, and direct funding for projects such as disaster relief. Member agencies are fully linked through a private internet based Intranet that allows for internal Email and participant file and document exchange.
La Cooperativa Campesina, a California 501 C (3) public benefit corporation is the statewide association of WIA Section 167 and CSBG grantees. La Cooperativa’s members provide education, training, placement and self-sufficiency services to migrant and seasonal farm-workers and other rural poor.
- Center for Employment Training
- California Human Development corporation
- Central Valley Opportunity Center
- Employers’ Training Resource
- Proteus Inc.
- Employment Development Department
Center for Employment Training
was founded in 1967 provides training services in Santa Clara, Sacramento, Monterrey, San Benito, San Luís Obispo, Santa Cruz, Ventura, Los Ángeles, San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Joaquin. Service strengths include implementation of a nationally recognized vocational training design that integrates self paced skill training for entry level jobs with job functional ESL, basic education, and life skills instruction. Training is offered on an individualized, open entry/open exit basis. Job placement and follow up services strengthen job placement. CET operates on a $46,000,000 Budget.
CET Service Highlight
CET operates a nationally recognized Job-training program that has been replicated across the country because of its very high placement rates and on the job performance by trainees.
California Human Development Corporation
was founded in 1967 and provides services in Lake Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Yolo, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Sutter, Yuba, and Colusa Counties. Service Strengths Include: farmworker employment and training, family self-sufficiency services, both senior and farmworker housing, AmeriCorps, Head Start, home weatherization, other energy services and rehabilitation training and job placement. CHDC operates on a $16 million budget
CHDC Service Highlight
CHDC owns and operates Mahal Plaza a 98-unit farmworker housing complex in Yuba City that includes a childcare center for working farmworker families. Funding for the childcare center was the result of a cooperative grant program of USDA and the state Department of Education’s Child Development Division.
Central Valley Opportunity Center
was founded in 1969 and provides services in Merced, Madera and Stanislaus Counties. CVOC provides a comprehensive mixture of vocational, educational, developmental and social services. CVOC operates federal, state and local contracts to provide vocational skills training in skill centers, energy conservation, community education, small business development, and job placement services. CVOC’s job club cases prepare clients for job search, develop job opportunities and provide follow-up placement assistance. CVOC operates on a $5 Million dollar budget.
CVOC Service Highlight
CVOC vocational schools are designed to meet the vocational development needs of the rural and low-income residents. Courses include English as a second language, remedial academics, and job placement and family case management. CVOC specializes in skills training for vocational rehabilitation firms and government contractors.
Employers’ Training Resource
was founded in 1974 and serves as the private Industry Council for Kern, Inyo and Mono Counties. ETR offers a diverse range of adult and youth services related to employment preparation, training and job placement. These services are provided in a One-Stop environment that links clients with a broad range of agencies and resources. ETR operates on a $32 million budget.
ETR Service Highlight
ETR operates twelve One-Stop centers (10 in Kern County, one in Inyo County and one in Mono County). The one Stops allow clients to access a wide range of services including JTPA Titles I, II and IV, Welfare to work and Schools to Career Opportunities. ETR Prides itself on its ability to leverage funds and collaborate with employers and the job training community.
is a 501 c (3) and was founded in 1976 and provides services in the Central Valley counties of Tulare, Fresno, Kern, and Kings counties, as well as northern Los Angeles. Proteus’s effective rural outreach and employer access allows them to serve customers not reached by other organizations. Major programs are: JTPA 402, welfare to work, and community challenge programs to reduce teen pregnancy, foster family support, AmeriCorps, energy conservation services, childcare. Private funding from the wellness foundation provides job-seeking skills in a supportive group format. Proteus operates on a $28 million budget.
Proteus Service Highlight
Proteus, Inc has set up 14 disaster assistance centers and provided community service jobs for 1400 farmworkers displaced by the devastating citrus freeze in late 1998. Proteus also provided supportive services to over 25,000 freeze affected individuals, providing needed food, utility payments, mortgage and rental assistance
La Cooperativa’s primary customers are migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families. Agriculture in California is a $26 billion industry and work is performed by over 700, 000 farmworkers. Employment during the off-season in January is at a low of 250,000 and rises to over 450,000 in the peak months of August and September. Over thirty California counties have a significant amount of agricultural work. Farmworkers in California are primarily young, recent immigrants from Mexico who have little education and poor English skills. Most farmworkers are poor. Annual incomes are very low due primarily to seasonal employment. Three quarters of California farmworkers earn less than $10,000 per year. The average farmworkers in California earns $6.75 per hour and is out of work for 26 weeks a year. Seasonal employment is a result of California’s highly specialized and efficient localized cropping patterns. Agricultural work is difficult and intensely competitive. The “frictional” costs of employment, transportation, housing, check cashing are also high, further depressing earnings.
Farmworkers are generally poorly served by mainstream social services agencies and are suspicious of government agencies. Many of these individuals are the working poor and don’t rely on government funded transfer payments, with unemployment insurance being a notable exception.
La Cooperativa’s services are rural. Community based, volunteer boards and advisory committees, who include farmworkers, provide policy direction. Members provide services in accessible locations in farmworker and rural communities. Services sites are linked to WIA One Stops and other service providers. As Title I section 167 grantees, members are mandatory partners for implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Offices have bilingual and bicultural staffs that are familiar with the farmworker community. Services are customer driven, flexible, holistic and comprehensive. La Cooperativa and its member agencies have provided the state of California with an efficient and responsive service delivery network. The network has been mobilized in time of crisis to provide emergency service to the thousands of farmworkers and the poor rural communities effected by the devastating crop freezes of 1990, 1998 and 1999, and the floods of 1997 and 1998.
Outreach to farmworkers is enhanced by bilingual staff, bilingual radio, offices located in the farmworker communities, publications such as La Voz, and a service history that establishes a climate of trust. Members help clients establish goals with careful assessment and career planning. A variety of classroom and employer based training provides farmworkers with the ESL, literacy, basic skills and job skills necessary for a wide range of occupations. Farmworkers in training are supported by active case management connecting them to services that increase self-sufficiency. Many farmworkers have barriers to employment and/or employment retention. A wide range of member services and effective links with other providers and employers help remove these barriers to employment.
La Cooperativa members also operate a wide variety of non-employment and training programs that complement and strengthen their employment and training efforts. These include CSBG, Head Start, AmeriCorps, childcare, weatherization, energy services, rehabilitation training, and housing.
La Cooperativa Actively partners with state agencies to improve services to farmworkers. A partnership with EDD has assisted farmworkers who were displaced as a result of the floods of 1997 and 1998 and crop freezes of 1990, 1998 and 1999. EDD and La Cooperativa also operate an agriculture industry program that trains dislocated farmworkers and assists farm workers with labor market and social service information. The Department of community services and Development partnered with La Cooperativa to provide emergency food vouchers to farmworkers that were denied food stamp benefits as a result of welfare reform. La Cooperativa also assists CSD with the monitoring and evaluation for citizenship programs. La Cooperativa assisted the Health Services Department with a statewide outreach program as part of the state legalization assistance grants.
La Cooperativa Also maintains extensive links with state and federal agencies that assist with both policy development and farmworker services. These agencies include:
- Governor’s Office
- Lieutenant Governor’s Office
- State Legislature
- Department of Education
- Community Colleges
- Health and Human Services Agency
- Department of Community Services and Development
- Office of Emergency Services
- Department of Business Housing and Transportation
- EDD Job Services
- Health Services