SACRAMENTO  The State of California’s Employment Training Panel (ETP) announced the availability of $10 million in funding as part of an Agriculture Initiative to serve businesses and workers in the agriculture sectors, including food packing, food processing, irrigation and fishing. This funding will help train farmworkers to gain new skills and career opportunities.  

The ETP’s Agriculture Initiative has been launched in collaboration with the Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) as part of an Agency-wide strategy to expand the number of workers with the educational capacity necessary to enter higher training programs, increase access to existing and emerging high-paying jobs in the agricultural industry, and improve job-quality and wages.

Funding from the Agriculture Initiative is available to businesses, groups of employers, training agencies, workforce development boards and Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act grant recipients.  Applications submitted under the initiative will be prioritized for processing. 

“Investing in our agricultural workforce is a priority for the Labor & Workforce Development Agency and Newsom Administration,” said Stewart Knox, Secretary for LWDA. “This initiative, along with the $10 million investment for the Farmworker Advancement Program at the Employment Development Department’s Workforce Services Branch, demonstrate our commitment to implement a strategy that was developed in consultation with stakeholders across the agricultural industry, including representatives, growers, colleges, local workforce boards, and advocates.”

“Investments made in California’s Agriculture industry support workers and employers to drive economic growth,” said ETP Executive Director Jessica Grimes, PhD. “I consider it a privilege to see the ETP further its mission in significantly transforming the lives of trainees who will earn industry-recognized training that will position them for more career opportunities.”

“As we look to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, we know that a highly-trained workforce is essential to the continued resilience of California agriculture and growing our ag workforce by providing advancement opportunities in the fields and beyond,” said Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. “We appreciate the commitment and partnership of the Employment Training Panel in working to make this happen.”   

An Agriculture Initiative Informational Session will be held on January 31, 2024 (10 AM PST) to provide program and application information for prospective applicants. To sign up for this session, please visit https://etp.ca.gov/planning-your-training/interactive-orientation/.

For additional information on the ETP’s Agriculture Initiative, please visit https://etp.ca.gov/2024/01/23/agricultureinitiative/.

For more information about the ETP, please visit www.etp.ca.gov, or call (916) 327-5578.