July 21, 2016
There's value in building on success and the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers wants to leverage the benefits of a training program started in 2015. Last year, the organization, as part of its Latino Ag Education Program offers a course exclusively for women.
Developed in response to industry feedback about the need for education because of the increase in Latinas employed in vineyard supervisory role, the Level 1 program was a success. To build on that success, LAEP is offering a Level 2 course for women only. This is in addition to the higher level Vineyard Management and Integrated Pest Management course open to men and women.
WAWGG is building on its Latino-focused training program with classes geared only to women. First-year success has the group expanding the program for 2016/2017.
WAWGG learned that the women-only approach offered a higher degree of comfort for Latinas to attend and actively participate. LEAP is designed to equip Latino and Latina employees in the field of viticulture with the technical expertise that will allow them to flourish within their profession. The Washington wine industry has seen a rising number of Latino employees in recent years and WAWGG wants to maximize the potential for this workforce.
Says Vicky Scharlau, executive director: "WAWGG is committed to providing opportunities for Latina employees that enhance their skills and offer equal access to professional advancement, which ultimately strengthens the industry."
LAEP is taught by Francisco Sarmiento and Leo Garcia, faculty with Wenatchee Valley College. The program is run on the camps of Yakima Valley Community College in partnership with WAWGG. The 2016/2017 courses start Nov. 4 and registration is open on the WAWGG website.
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