Maine Migrant & Seasonal Farmers
   National Farmworker Jobs Program
Eastern Maine Development Corporation
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The Eastern Maine Development Corporation, a private non-profit organization,  has been overseeing the National Farmworker Jobs Program in Maine since 2009.  The farmworker program has been funded through the Employment and Training Administration Program of the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Christopher Huh, the Program Manager for the National Farmworker Job Programs in Maine, was kind enough to explain how the program provides workforce development services and assistance with training for eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Training may include basic skills, high school equivalency preparation, approved trade schools, on-the-job training, or attendance at a community college.

The criteria for eligibility for the program is that the farm worker, who is of at least seventeen years of age and who is eligible to work in the United States, must have earned more than fifty percent of their income from agricultural labor in the past two years.  Qualifying farm work includes the harvesting or production of potatoes, blueberries, dairy, Christmas trees, maple syrup, and broccoli.  Other types of agricultural work may also qualify.

The Eastern Maine Development Corporation has had very good relations with several partners who focus their work on assisting migrant workers and seasonal employees.  They participate in the Raker’s Center in Columbia each August during blueberry season.  Christopher explained that during this time they enroll farmworkers for their services.  In certain instances they offer short-term assistance with related services such as housing, transportation, gas vouchers, car repair, etc. to stabilize employment opportunities. Throughout the year they are involved in informal referrals with other agencies.

When asked for some examples of training choices that have frequently been pursued through the National Farmworker Jobs Program, Christopher Huh discussed how several applicants have requested assistance with obtaining their Class A or Class B commercial drivers license.  These courses are sometimes offered through adult education programs, private training providers, and community college classes.  Other eligible applicants have expressed interest in completing CNA or nursing coursework.   Heavy equipment and diesel repair programs have been popular, as well.  Some applicants have chosen to become trained in business programs or in trades such as studying to become a licensed electrician.


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Name:           National Farmworkers Jobs Program

                       Eastern Maine Development Corporation

Eastern & Central Maine:        

                       Chris Huh, Program Manager
                       EMDC Economic & Workforce   

                       Development Center 
                       248 State St., Suite 15A
                       Ellsworth, ME 04605
                       Phone: (207) 610-1521
                       Fax: (207) 610-1531

In Northern Maine:

                        Wendy Lord, Career Advisor
                        Presque Isle Career Center
                        66 Spruce St.
                        Presque Isle, ME 04769

                        Phone: (207) 760-6333
                        Fax: (207) 760-6346


Facebook:       EMDC Facebook Page

Products and Services For Eligible Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers:

-workforce development services

-assistance with training

-basic skills assistance

-high school equivalency preparation

-trade schools

-on-the-job training

-attendance at a community college

-short-term direct assistance