Nov 2, 2020  |  VIEW IN BROWSER


AFOP to Gather for its First Ever Virtual National Conference

Daniel Sheehan, AFOP Executive Director

October 23, 2020

Meeting the challenges posed by the no-longer-novel coronavirus pandemic, the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) changed its in-person national conference to a virtual setting, allowing attendees to remotely view and participate in all aspects of the annual meeting, safely and securely.   The conference kicks off with a formal board of directors meeting on Tuesday, November 2, with a full slate of plenaries and trainings on offer each afternoon from Tuesday, November 3 through Thursday, November 5.  AFOP has never attempted such a meeting before, but is confident that it has the right production company, committed and hardworking staff, and supportive membership to make this endeavor an unqualified success. 
First and foremost, AFOP is honored to have the full support and participation of the United States Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) in presenting this comprehensive training opportunity.  Through ETA officials, attendees will learn of the very latest with respect to National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) policy, how to run a successful grant, and why it is critically important for NFJP grantees to continue to deliver the sky-high performance that DOL and Congress have come to expect, year after year after year. 
AFOP is also pleased to have appear at the national conference the very experts who assemble grantee performance data, analyze it, and explain and provide it to DOL for publication and program justification.  These individuals know performance-reporting inside and out and will provide grantees the chance to ask all those in-the-weeds questions that help ensure complete and correct reporting. 
Attendees will also hear from speakers who will provide them with many of the tools they need to expand outreach; explain the benefits of the national program; to support farmworkers as they go through trainings; collaborate with employers to place the farmworkers into high-paying, high-skills jobs; and follow through with them to better guarantee success. 
To all those tuning into this year’s national conference, AFOP says welcome.  Learn a lot.  Grow.  Be even further inspired to carry out this oh-so-important work.  NFJP staff are the backbone of the program.  They – rightfully – take tremendous pride in what they do.  They not only provide a welcome helping hand to some of the most vulnerable among us, they also change lives for the better.  What a story.  What a career. 
From all of us at AFOP we salute you and wish you the very best for this worthy conference.

Inside AFOP

Proteus Celebrates its 41st Anniversary by Thanking Farmworkers

Proteus, Inc.

Proteus, Inc. is celebrating its 41st Anniversary by hosting a fundraising event called, "I'm Thankful for Farmworkers: Virtual Celebration". The event will be streamed LIVE Thursday, November 5th at 12:00 PM.   For the full event experience, watch the LIVE stream via the OneCause platform. The dashboard includes various engagement and donation opportunities.

Click here to Register

NBC Highlights the Plight of Migrant Farmworker Students at PPEP

PPEP, Inc.

NBCNews recently ran a story about two sisters, Leslie and Jimena Aguilar, who have had to work full-time even as they attend school full-time.  This kind of schedule has been necessary to support their family, since their farmworker mother and father were deported two years ago.  The girls attend PPEP TEC High Schools, a set of charter schools focused on catering to vulnerable populations like homeless and migrant children.

Says PPEP founder and CEO, “The story of these students is similar to the plight of migrant and seasonal farmworkers students everywhere. We need to unite with a common strategy to help these farmworker students succeed in school, graduate, and go on to postsecondary education, self-employment, or the trades.”

Read more

Successful Venture Leads to Lasting Partnership

By Vicki Needham, NFJP Client Service Agent

Kansas SER Corporation

For many years I have partnered with Venture Corporation in different capacities. I have assisted them with sharing their job listing, successful job recruitment, and developing an On-the-Job Training (OJT) contract for a participant. With all the different ways that SER Corporation and Venture Corporation have worked together, the clients have benefited the most from the partnership through the years.

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A Family Achieves Goals They Hardly Dared Hope for

PathStone Puerto Rico

Isaida is a resident of the municipality of Naranjito who came to our NFJP program after she was referred by her daughter.  She had been let go from a mango farm, for which she worked temporarily a few hours a week.

Read more

A Passion to Serve

Telamon Michigan

During this episode of A Passion to Serve, host Don Kuchnicki shares a recording from Telamon Corporation’s Facebook Live Event that discusses how we can impact community change through voting and community action. The episode features moderator Kalyn Miller and guests Mitchell Brown from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Angelica Razo from Mi Familia Vota. Enjoy.

Listen to more.

Health & Safety

AFOP Health & Safety is Hiring!

Are you a bilingual and creative person? ....that loves social media? ...enjoys writing? ...knows how to design awesome content and documents? Then, we are looking for you!!! AFOP's H&S is seeking to hire an awesome Programs Communication Coordinator to join our team. Check the link below!

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Harris, Brown Introduce Heat Stress Legislation to Protect Workers

U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on October 1st introduced legislation to ensure the safety and health of workers who are exposed to dangerous heat conditions in the workplace. The bill, the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act, is named in honor of Asunción Valdivia who died in 2004 after picking grapes for ten hours straight in 105-degree temperatures.

AFOP endorsed both bills along with many other groups.

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Inside the U.S. Department of Labor

Farmworker Justice Flags New DOL Independent Contractor Rule as Threat to Farmworker Wages

AFOP to Submit Public Comment

U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division has proposed new regulations regarding exclusion of workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  This new regulation would result in more workers becoming classified as “independent contractors” rather than a company’s “employees.”  There are implications for farmworkers.  A grower could say that a farmworker is an “independent contractor” who is not covered by the minimum wage -- and that the other farmworkers in the crew are not employees of the farm but are employees of that farmworker who is a so-called “independent contractor.”  The farm would not owe anyone the minimum wage.

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Webinar Series Brings Old & New NFJP Grantees Up to Speed


Throughout the month of October, the US Department of Labor’s NFJP team conducted a series of six webinars designed to onboard new NFJP grantees while also bringing veteran members of the program further up to speed.  Each webinar focused on a different aspect of the program, including outreach and eligibility, partnerships, and performance.  All webinars were recorded and powerpoints are available for download.

If you have any questions, please reach out to AFOP’s Director of Workforce Development Kendra Moesle at

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New OIG Report from DOL Finds Problems with Enforcement

Huffington Post

The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division has not done enough to raise awareness of ― or enforce ― a new paid sick leave law passed to deal with COVID-19, according to a report from the department’s Office of the Inspector General released publicly August 11th.
The watchdog report, which was issued internally on Aug. 7, also seems to side with a recent court ruling that found the Labor Department left out too many workers when it wrote the rules around the paid sick leave law. And, the report says, the department is also doing less than usual to enforce the Fair Labor Standards Act, which covers minimum wage and overtime laws.
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OIG Report


ICE Must Stop Enforcement during the Pandemic

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Despite the very damaging threats to public health, ICE resumed immigration enforcement in mid-July. Just last month, ICE arrested Alicia Flores Gonzalez, a mother of four U.S. citizen children, and within 24 hours ICE deported her from the country. Ms. Flores was apprehended by immigration enforcement after dropping her daughter off at child care and going to work. By ICE’s own admission, more than 300 of their 2,000+ apprehensions in July and August were of individuals with no criminal record. Moreover, many who were arrested and had a criminal record or pending charges had only minor offenses. 

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U.S. Department of Agriculture Cancels the Farm Labor Survey

Farmworker Justice

In a notice published in the Federal Register on September 30, the National Agricultural Statistics Service—an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—announced that it will cancel the Farm Labor Survey (FLS) of agricultural employers. This decision will have significant implications for farmworker wages. For years, the Department of Labor (DOL) has used FLS data to calculate the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) under the H-2A agricultural guest worker program. By cancelling the FLS, the Trump administration has removed this floor, which will inevitably lead to lower wages for H-2A agricultural workers and their domestic worker counterparts. This is just one of many attempts by the administration to cut wages for farmworkers.

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CDC: Blacks, Hispanics Dying of COVID-19 at Disproportionately High Rates

The Hill

Black and Hispanic Americans were disproportionately more likely to die of COVID-19 during the spring and summer months, a new indicator that the coronavirus’s toll is falling most heavily on underserved and minority communities.

A new analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of more than 114,000 Americans who died of COVID-19 between May and August found that 24 percent were Hispanic or Latino, even though only about 18 percent of Americans are of Hispanic descent.

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CHN's COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship

Coalition on Human Needs

More than 13.4 million people currently receiving unemployment benefits stand to lose assistance come Dec. 31. Three out of every four states have run out of money to pay for Trump’s Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program. New poverty data shows the number of poor people in this country increasing dramatically since May. And, as always, not everyone is being tossed over the cliff equally. Black people and Latinx are more than twice as likely as white people to be poor. Both groups disproportionately work in industries hard-hit by the recession and may face barriers to aid – if it even exists.

Read more

Court Decision Against Trump Rule Preserves SNAP for 700,000 Jobless

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The October 18th federal court decision striking down a Trump Administration rule that would have eliminated SNAP (food stamps) for 700,000 low-income jobless workers means that the punitive, ill-conceived rule — already temporarily suspended due to the pandemic — can’t take effect even when the public health emergency ends.
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What We’re Reading

The USDA Is Prioritizing Corporations Over Poor People During a Pandemic

Center for American Progress

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the country entered an unprecedented economic crisis, the USDA did not adjust its long-standing combative posture toward SNAP to meet accelerating food insecurity rates. Instead, Secretary Perdue and his agency chose to focus their attention and finite resources on pursuing corporate-friendly policies. At the same time, the secretary continued to block access to critical anti-poverty programs, leaving vulnerable workers and low-income people to fend for themselves amid a worsening national hunger crisis and economic recession.
Read more

Trump Ordered Meatpacking Plants Open — Now, Workers are Left Holding the Bag.

Washington Post

As of Sept. 30, more than 44,000 meatpacking workers nationwide have tested positive for COVID-19 at 504 plants and 213 meatpacking workers have died.  Regrettably but unsurprisingly, meatpacking companies and their insurers are asserting that since workers can’t prove they contracted COVID-19 at work, they’re out of luck. Even in cases of massive outbreaks. So, workers and their families, hobbled by COVID-19, are left holding the bag.

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Tracking the COVID-19 Recession’s Effects on Food, Housing, and Employment Hardships

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The unemployment rate is very high and millions report that their households did not get enough to eat or are not caught up on rent payments. We are able to track the extent of this hardship thanks to nearly real-time data from several sources on the unfolding economic crisis.

Read more

Robots Will Create More Jobs Than They’ll Replace


That’s the big takeaway from a new World Economic Forum study on automation in the workplace. The annual Future of Jobs report, released Tuesday evening, found that robots will replace 85 million jobs globally in the next five years while creating 97 million more. And on average, that shift is happening at a faster clip at companies in the U.S. than in many other parts of the world.
Read more

The Sleeping Giant is Finally Awake


Turnout among eligible Hispanic voters in 2016 once again finished south of 50 percent—lagging some 20 points behind white turnout—a bitter disappointment to Democratic organizers and activists. Over the past decade, they had launched unprecedented initiatives to register new voters and engage people and places with no history of political involvement. And yet, there was little to show for it. Which is why 2018 caught everyone off guard. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in Trump’s first midterm election, which saw participation spike across every demographic, “Hispanic voter turnout increased by 13 percentage points, a 50 percent increase in Hispanic voter turnout.” 

Read more
The AFOP Washington Newsline (ISSN# 1056-8565) is produced by the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP), a national federation of agencies serving migrant and seasonal farmworkers. AFOP’s mission is to improve the quality of life for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families by promoting self-sufficiency through employment and training opportunities, educational attainment, and health and safety.
The publication is funded by subscriptions and the members of AFOP. The Washington Newsline receives no financial support from the federal government. Staff may be reached by calling (202) 963-3200.
Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs

1150 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 315
Washington, D.C. 20036

Direct: (202) 963-3200

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