U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR’S NATIONAL FARMWORKER JOBS PROGRAM OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS - DUE MAY 14, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that The National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) is soliciting applications for its two grant programs: Career Services and Training Grants and Housing Grants. For Career Services and Training Grants, there is approximately $85,229,000 available to fund ~52 grants. For Housing Grants, there is approximately $6,122,000 available to fund between seven and 20 grants.

What is the NFJP? The purpose of this program is to counter chronic unemployment and underemployment experienced by migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents who depend primarily on jobs in agricultural labor performed across the country. NFJP assists eligible Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers (MSFWs), including youth and adults, and their dependents, to receive career services, training services, housing assistance services, youth services, and other related assistance services, including emergency services, that help stabilize their current agriculture jobs as well as acquire new skills they need to start careers that provide higher wages and year-round employment. To support better economic outcomes for farmworkers, NFJP also works to meet a critical need for safe and sanitary permanent and temporary housing.

Who is eligible to apply? To be eligible to receive an NFJP grant, an entity must have:

  1. an understanding of the problems of eligible MSFWs (including their dependents);
  2. a familiarity with the agricultural industries and the labor market needs of the proposed service area; and
  3. the ability to demonstrate a capacity to administer and deliver effectively a diversified program of workforce investment activities (including youth workforce investment activities) and related assistance for eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

DOL encourages applications from organizations who may not have received NFJP grants in the past.

Furthermore, applicants will receive priority consideration of two bonus points if the applicant  or at least one subgrantee has at least one-census tract in their target area designated as a qualified opportunity zone.

What project types are eligible? There are two eligible project types for NFJP funding.

1. Career Services and Training Grants: Eligible participants of this program receive quality career services and training opportunities within their local communities that lead to industry-recognized credentials in agriculture or other sectors, and ultimately better earnings and quality of life. Grantees will provide services through a case management approach emphasizing customer choice and ensure that all services are focused on customer’s needs. DOL expects grantees to develop new, and utilize existing, partnerships with the local workforce network, including but not limited to community colleges and training institutions, and provide work-based learning opportunities, including opportunities to enter apprenticeship that accomplish DOL’s performance goals. Seventy percent or more of grant funds must be designated solely to employment and training services.

It is strongly encouraged for applicants to leverage employers in workforce development strategies. Grantees are to actively develop and sustain strong employer relationships that lead to win-win outcomes for both participants and employers. Grantees are to partner with employers to build knowledge of industries, inform program design, generate resources, and broaden its reach within the workforce development network.

2. Housing Grants: NFJP Housing Grants provide housing assistance services including temporary and permanent housing, and related assistance services, including emergency assistance. These grants are intended to increase the living options available to migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families so that they can retain their employment and have a decent quality of life. Housing services may include:

  • Permanent housing that is owner-occupied, or occupied on a permanent, year-round basis (notwithstanding ownership) as the eligible migrant and seasonal farmworker’s primary residence to which he/or she returns at the end of the work or training day.
  • Temporary housing that is not owner-occupied and is used by migrant and seasonal farmworkers whose employment requires occasional travel outside their normal commuting area.

The NFJP appropriation requires that at least 70 percent of this funding be spent on permanent housing services. Please note NFJP funds used for housing assistance must ensure the provision of safe and sanitary temporary and permanent housing that meets Federal housing standards.

What are the service area requirements for NFJP? DOL will consider the service areas requirements listed below:

1. Career Services and Training Grants grant applications are being solicited for a single NFJP grant per state, including Puerto Rico, to serve the eligible migrant and seasonal farmworker population within that state, with the following exceptions:

  • No application will be accepted to operate NFJP in the District of Columbia due to the small relative share of eligible participants and seasonal agricultural employment;
  • Between four and six entities will be selected to provide NFJP services in California;
  • Connecticut and Rhode Island are a combined service delivery area;
  • Delaware and Maryland are a combined service delivery area; and
  • Applications for the two combined state service delivery areas listed above must consider the two states as a single geographic area.

2. Housing Grants are being solicited for service areas designated by the applicant and may be for:

  • A single state;
  • Multiple contiguous states; and
  • Portions of one or more contiguous states.

The smallest units of service for this program are counties; for example, an applicant may elect to serve a set of counties within a state, but not specific cities or townships. Grantees will be required to provide services to all county(ies) that they identify.

What is the funding availability for this program? For Career Services and Training Grants, there is approximately $85,229,000 available to fund ~52 grants. DOL has specific formula factors used to allocate Career Services and Training Grant funds; to serve as a guide when determining a requested award amount, see the NFJP Program Year 2019 Career Services and Training Grant Fund Allocations. For Housing Grants, there is approximately $6,122,000 available to fund between seven and 20 grants. Examples of 2019 Housing Grant Fund Allocations can be found here

Is there a matching requirement? There is no matching requirement for this program. Matching is not included in the application screening criteria nor will applications that include any form of cost sharing or match receive additional consideration during the review process.

What is the project duration? This grant is renewable annually for a total of four years based on annual DOL application requirements and subject to the availability of funds, with an anticipated award date of July 1, 2020. DOL anticipates that each year’s award will have a project duration of 15 months, from July 1 to September 30 of the subsequent calendar year.    

Applications must be received no later than 4:00 pm Eastern Time on May 14, 2020. DOL will consider up to two applications from each organization for a proposed State service area.

The full Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is available here.

For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at grants@morrisonco.net or call us at 530-893-4764.

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