Building a Stronger Agricultural Workforce - Part Two
The Washington tree fruit industry partnered with the Washington State Department of Agriculture and Washington State University to develop an educational pathway to build a stronger workforce for the future of agriculture. Tree Fruit Association president Jon DeVaney said the initial programs have been a success toward their goal of helping farmworkers obtain management skills.
DeVaney… “We started rolling that training out. We had a pilot this last December in both English and Spanish. And now we're looking to have the first of the regular classes, starting in early May and going through early June in both English and Spanish training those new supervisors in the skills that they're going to need.”
DeVaney said the programs will continue to evolve, as the find new ways to provide support to farmers and agricultural employees.
DeVaney… “We're going to keep talking to the participants about how to make it better: additional content that's needed, bringing in more agency and industry partners to try to further strengthen the curriculum. And try to deliver this training with as much grant and other support as possible. So that the price point is as close to zero as we can get it. And we have to meet some basic costs, but the really the intention is to make the training available, not to make it a profit center.”
The programs have been funded so far by grants, sponsors, and volunteer time by the organizations involved.