WASHINGTON – Equitable Food Initiative, the workforce development and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumer groups, is proud to welcome David Cea as its new workforce development specialist. Among his responsibilities, Cea will deliver comprehensive training to EFI leadership teams, provide supervisor training and orientation, and support workforce education.
To achieve EFI certification, fresh produce grower-shippers must form an on-farm worker-manager collaborative team, called an EFI leadership team, which receives 40 hours of facilitated training. Cea will serve as part of EFI’s workforce development program, which has grown to a multi-faceted department that provides ongoing training and consultation to growers and leadership teams; develops new products, services and curriculum; and serves as a conduit for the voices of workers to the EFI staff and board.
Cea first joined EFI as a consultant facilitator in 2014. Since then, he has grown with the role, culminating in his promotion to full-time staff last month. As an EFI facilitator, Cea trained dozens of EFI leadership teams in workplace collaboration, EFI standards and skill development in communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution.
In addition to his expertise in photography and communications, Cea has a strong desire to improve people’s lives. His self-proclaimed passions are the visual arts and human development.
Prior to joining EFI, Cea spent more than 10 years coordinating projects for humanitarian aid organizations in the mountains of El Salvador for the most vulnerable populations, addressing education, community and risk mitigation. Additionally, Cea has coordinated programs for at-risk youth, conflict resolution and social reintegration for former gang members in San Salvador.
Cea studied communication and brings a strong background in group facilitation. As a photographer and videographer, he looks for light and beauty in everyday interactions, a skill that shapes his approach to facilitation.
“David’s experience in adult education and facilitating diverse groups, his ability to relate to those around him and his deep understanding of EFI’s core work and mission make him the perfect candidate to join our team,” said Gretta Siebentritt, director of workforce development at EFI. “In addition, his skills as a visual storyteller will help us better share EFI’s impact on the lives of farmworkers.”
Originally from El Salvador, Cea has spent the last 10 years living in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. In his spare time, he can be found enjoying nature and living in unity with those around him.
Equitable Food Initiative is a nonprofit certification and skill-building organization that seeks to increase transparency in the food supply chain and improve the lives of farmworkers through a team-based approach to training and continuous improvement practices. EFI brings together growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumers to solve the most pressing issues facing the fresh produce industry. Its unparalleled approach sets standards for labor practices, food safety and pest management while engaging workers at all levels on the farm to produce Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured® fruits and vegetables. For more information about Equitable Food Initiative, visit equitablefood.org.
View a list of EFI-certified farms at equitablefood.org/efi-certified-farms.