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e. 4. A. Contacting farmworkers who are not being reached by the normal intake activities conducted by the employment service offices

Current Narrative:

Designated MSFW outreach staff are creative in seeking out opportunities to contact farmworkers who may not be reached through the normal intake activities conducted at the AJCs, especially with the impact created from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, outreach staff have resumed their efforts as much as possible and are adjusting their approach as needed based on the pandemic’s current status.

ES staff target Idaho farmworkers through different types of media outlets, such as the multitude of radio stations in the state with Spanish programming that regularly air public service announcements from the Idaho Department of Labor. These announcements provide notice of the workforce development system’s services and are used to inform and educate farmworkers and their families about the services and protection available in the state of Idaho.

Individual MSFW outreach staff also make direct appeals and other announcements via their local radio stations. Special presentations are made to English as a Second Language groups, Hispanic high school students and other groups of farm workers to encourage use of the IdahoWorks system and the state’s One-Stop system services.

In addition, MSFWs and Idahoans across the state will see, hear and read about accessing Idaho Department of Labor services in the service delivery model described earlier.  “Let’s Talk Work” is a bilingual (English and Spanish) outreach campaign designed to help job seeker and employer customers find their nearest IDOL location via radio, print ads, billboards and social media.  The overarching message - “Help is Closer than You Think” – reinforces the fact that help with finding a job, filing for unemployment insurance or improving one’s skills is just a phone call away.

The Idaho Department of Labor prints bilingual brochures, posters and flyers for dissemination at and beyond the AJCs. One example is an easy-to-carry bilingual rack card, which outlines the state’s complaints process which provides MSFWs guidance on how to file a complaint or wage claim.

Assigned outreach staff contact MSFWs at their work sites, labor camps, living areas, and other places frequented by the migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Outreach staff also attend community events on evenings and weekends where migrant and seasonal farmworkers are in attendance.

Outreach workers encourage MSFWs to come into the local AJC one-stop or mobile location for more in-depth assessment and to register for available services. For those who choose not to or cannot visit their local AJC, the outreach worker provides on-site assistance for services that may be available, such as prepare and accept complaints or apparent violations, provide information on local labor markets and training opportunities or referral to other service providers.

Outreach workers in Idaho have not limited themselves to pounding the pavement to contact MSFWs. Since 2013, an outreach worker in Southcentral Idaho has hosted a local radio show periodically as a means of offering MSFWs information about the services available through the department. Topics ranged from recruitment efforts for the WIOA Youth Program which targets out-of-school youth, to discussions regarding Idaho and federal labor laws impacting agricultural employment. Radio as an outreach tool has also been used by outreach workers from the Caldwell, Twin Falls and Idaho Falls AJCs during the last year.

The AJCs with outreach staff have permanent and/or temporary staff who are bilingual in Spanish to conduct outreach. During the area’s peak agricultural season, if resources permit, additional temporary bilingual staff will be used to support MSFW activities.