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The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs: Bush’s 2009 Budget Slams the Door of Opportunity On America’s Farmworkers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2008
2:34 PM

CONTACT: The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
David Strauss, 202.828.6006 ext. 101 / strauss@afop.org

 
Bush’s 2009 Budget Slams the Door of Opportunity On America’s Farmworkers
 

WASHINGTON - February 4 - For the seventh consecutive year, President George W. Bush seeks to eliminate the federal job-training program that helps America’s migrant and seasonal farmworkers break the cycle of poverty. The Bush administration’s assertions that the program duplicates other federal programs and is insufficiently focused on employment and training are not supported by the National Farmworker Jobs Program’s (NFJP) impressive achievements during President Bush’s term in office.

The National Farmworker Jobs Program is one of the U.S. Department of Labor’s most effective job-training programs. Since Program Year 2001, more than 38,200 members of the farmworker community have obtained permanent jobs with significant wage gains because Congress has maintained this program. Almost 80 percent retained their jobs during the six months after placement and they enjoyed average annual wage gains of $10,279.

Furthermore, the NFJP is strongly focused on employment and training: 83 percent of its resources are dedicated to training farmworkers and finding them good jobs. Despite being effectively level-funded for the past decade, the NFJP continues to produce excellent results year after year.

“No other Department of Labor program provides job training and educational assistance to migrant and seasonal farmworkers,” said David Strauss, executive director of the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs. “Congressional support for this effort enables thousands of America’s farmworkers to escape poverty and provide a better life for their families.”

The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs, a Washington-based farmworker advocacy group, urges Congress to maintain and expand the National Farmworker Jobs Program in the FY 2009 budget. Additional information about the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs’ advocacy work on behalf of farmworkers can be found at http://www.afop.org.

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