NR No. 23-13
Contact: Loree Levy/Aubrey Henry
NOTE: Video available of farmworkers, including comments about supportive services.
SACRAMENTO – As California recognizes historic labor leader and community advocate Cesar Chavez this weekend, the Employment Development Department (EDD) continues to honor his legacy by providing employment services and other forms of much-needed assistance to farmworkers and their families statewide. EDD invites you to learn more about these important supportive services for California’s agricultural workforce on the Department website, including more information about the state’s agricultural industry, the programs available to its workers, and a video showcasing the valuable contribution of farmworkers to California’s economy.
California leads the nation in the processing of agricultural goods and is the world’s largest exporter of produce. Essential to this industry are the thousands of workers statewide who work to provide more than 400 different agricultural commodities.
California Agriculture Industry:
- According to data from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, over a third of the country’s vegetables and three-quarters of the country’s fruits and nuts are grown in California.
- Dairy products, grapes and almonds lead the list of top producing commodities in the state in 2021-22.
- In 2021-22, California was home to 407,500 farm jobs with the largest concentrations of jobs in the regions of San Joaquin Valley (201,400), Central Coast (77,200), South Coast (74,100), and Sacramento Valley (26,800).
- Over the past six years, California’s annual farm job totals have exceeded 400,000 jobs.
- There are more than 289,300 Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in California.
Services for Agricultural Workers
The agriculture industry relies on a seasonal workforce of thousands to perform vital jobs. The EDD works in coordination with state and local entities to provide agricultural workers with an array of services including employment assistance, provision of visa program information, and monitoring of workplace conditions. EDD services offered to agricultural workers include:
- Referrals to local supportive services, such as low-cost medical services, housing, utility assistance, food banks, and childcare services.
- Guidance about how to apply for unemployment benefits when the growing season ends, along with information about Disability Insurance, and Paid Family Leave program
- Information and assistance on employment services and employment-related law complaints.
- Information on state and federal farmworker employment rights.
- Referrals to agricultural job opportunities (H-2A program).
- Assistance with job search and coaching, job screening, résumé writing, and referrals to jobs.
- Assistance with registering in CalJOBSSM.
- Information about training opportunities through the EDD and community partners.
- Opportunities available through job fairs and workshops at America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC) and other locations.
- Access to computers, printers, scanners, copiers, and multilingual assistance where available.
Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Outreach Program
The Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers (MSFW) Outreach Program specifically targets agricultural employers and workers classified as migrant, seasonal or migrant food-processing workers as defined by federal law. Employers are provided assistance with labor needs and information about labor laws, while workers receive job search assistance, vocational training and information about benefit programs and farmworker rights.
Monitor Advocate Office (MAO)
The EDD Monitor Advocate Office (MAO) oversees the MSFW Outreach Program and corresponds with California agricultural employers and EDD representatives to ensure migrant farmworkers and all job seekers are provided equitable employment services.
Farmworkers can access tailored resources in CalJOBS, California's online resource to help job seekers and employers navigate the state's workforce services. CalJOBS provides access to farmworker job postings, training services, links to other programs, assistance, and benefits.
For more information about programs and services benefiting the California Agriculture industry and its workers, visit the EDD website.