When Lake Apopka's muck farms closed down this past summer, some 2,200 workers lost their jobs. Advocates at the Farmworker Association of Florida warned that, without culturally sensitive social workers and job-training programs, almost all of those workers would be left destitute.
And so, it appears, that has happened. Despite $373,000 in federal training funds, many of the people getting jobs are working in the training program. So far only 80 former farmworkers have found work. Efforts to find the ex-workers have met with limited success, organizers say, while federal red tape has discouraged many applicants.