Counseling and Evaluation
Appropriate assessment of the participant's strengths and deficiencies is key to ensuring that participants establish realistic vocational goals and are job-ready at completion of training. Specific assessment services will include evaluation of educational level, employability, aptitudes, abilities, and interests. The results of this assessment will be an individual plan for achieving the participant's employment and related goals. The plan will detail employment goals, vocational training, job experience, counseling, education and other supportive services to be provided. Project staff and trained school counselors from area vocational-technical centers provide counseling to participants on an ongoing basis. Personal counseling helps participants resolve many problems that present barriers to employment. Vocational counseling, of equal importance, is also provided. The Individual Employment Plan will enable program staff to accurately assess participant training and supportive service needs.
All participants have access to educational classroom training based on their expressed needs and initial assessment results. Participants who need occupational skills are enrolled in approved vocational classes, at local comprehensive high schools, vocational technical centers and adult schools. This enables participants to gain the skills which will make them job ready and enable them to succeed in the work force. Employability skills are also provided. To meet the needs of participants who have a literacy level of 0-8, the Program will provide a comprehensive and individualized curriculum of English-as-a-Second Language, remedial education and pre-vocational training. For participants with a literacy level above eighth grade, training will include remedial education in combination with either occupational skills training, work experience or on-the-job training (OJT).
OJT is designed for the participant who can, with a minimal amount of time in remediation classes, effectively make transition to the work environment. The on-the-job contract requires a "hire first, train later" commitment from the employer. Staff will establish the on-the-job training sites. Regularly scheduled visits will be made to work sites to assess participant progress and to verify that employers are fulfilling agreed upon responsibilities. OJT will be combined with classroom training when possible.
Transportation assistance is provided to participants who have difficulty commuting between home and the training center or between locations of training and supportive services. They may be provided with transportation allowances or bus passes.
Farm workers have many personal, family and employment problems which affect the participant's ability to remain in training. In many cases, the resources for alleviating some of these problems are beyond the scope of the program. Therefore, it is necessary to establish productive working relationships with social service agencies.
At the completion of training, the vocational center training staff provides program staff with final information regarding the participant's progress in the training program. Self-placement methods will be encouraged for as many participants as possible to allow staff to devote more time to those who require greater assistance. Each participant will be referred to the local Workforce office for professional assistance to obtain employment.
Placing a participant in a job is only a part of the process of job placement. Another important part comes with follow-up. Follow-up enables staff to determine the program's degree of success in maintaining job placements and helps the participants adjust to the job. Contact is maintained with both the employer and participant at scheduled intervals to determine potential areas of disagreement, misunderstanding and areas where improvement needs to be made. The Farmworker Program performs follow-up contacts at three months, six months, nine months, and twelve months on the job.