Fields of Opportunity students Eddie Benitez Pizano (left) learned about grapevine cultivation with Walsh Vineyards Management and, Ximena Alvarez Parra (right), learned hospitality skills at Hudson Ranch.
Napa, california (November 17, 2021) – Fields of opportunity Patrick Foley Summer mentorship program was created by the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) and the Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) to prepare Napa County high school students for careers in our world-class wine industry. During the 8-week program, students gain first-class industry experience and develop professional skills in hospitality, wine production, viticulture, human resources and accounting, with some of the most forward-thinking wine producers. in the world.
Through the FWF and NVG’s continued partnership with the Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD), the program is being promoted to high school students from a variety of backgrounds. To apply, students must be 16 years of age or older, be able to engage in an 8 week program, have an interest in a career in the wine industry, a positive attitude and a willingness to learn new skills . All applicants go through an interview process, with priority extending to students from traditionally under-represented backgrounds. When selected, students are placed with an employer mentor and receive a program of soft skills workshops covering topics such as: financial literacy; Mental Health; resume writing; professional networking on social media; history of Napa Valley; leadership stories and lessons; and goal setting.
Montserrat Granados, a 2021 class student, said of her Fields of Opportunity experience: “I enjoyed working outdoors, especially in the morning. We did things like collect sugar samples or look for parasites. Before this summer, I never thought of a job in this field, but now, having worked at Hall Wines under the direction of winemaker Sarah Lansing, I am considering working in the wine industry. For Montserrat, the program left a lasting impression.
The large number of qualified candidates is a positive challenge; create the opportunity for more employer mentors to get involved. In 2021, for example, FWF and NVG initially planned to place 16 students with employer mentors. When 80 student applications were received, additional outreach was carried out with employers; in the end, 23 students were placed, all of whom completed the program.
In 2022, organizations hope to double student internships with the support of new employer mentors who want to make an impact on a young life by introducing them to the wine industry and sharing their passion for the domain.
Past employers included many of Napa’s most recognized wineries and vineyard management companies, such as: Foley Family Wines; Wines from the room; Hudson Ranch, Jericho Canyon Vineyards; Larkmead Vineyards; Napa Wine Company; Opus One; the vineyards of Pine Ridge; Management of the Renteria vineyard; Tres Sabores; V. Sattui vineyard; Viader Vineyards & Winery; Management of Walsh vineyards; and Yount Mill Vineyards.
“Over the past 4 years, Napa Wine Company and Yount Mill Vineyards have really enjoyed supporting the Fields of Opportunity program through mentorship. We believe it is crucial to support the next generation as they represent the future of our local community, ”said Kendall Hoxsey-Onysko, Commercial Director for Napa Wine Company and Yount Mill Vineyards. “It goes both ways, however, through mentoring we learn to continually hone our management skills, which rekindles our love for the business itself. “
“We strongly recommend that all Napa Valley businesses participate as mentors in the Fields of Opportunity program. “
The Patrick Foley Fields of Opportunity Summer Mentorship Program has begun to educate employer mentors for the 2022 program, which will run from June 20 to August 5. If you want to become an employer mentor, find out more in line or email Jill Durfee, Farmworker Foundation Program Manager, at [email protected].
About the winegrowers of Napa Valley
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers are a non-profit, commercial organization that has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley’s reputation as a world-class wine region for 45 years. Its mission is to preserve and promote the world-class wineries of Napa Valley. NVG represents 685 wine growers and associated businesses in Napa County. For more information, visit our website Napa Valley Winemakers and follow the Napa Valley winemakers on Facebook and Instagram.
About the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation
Founded by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers in 2011, the mission of the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation is to support and promote Napa Valley winemakers through education and professional development. The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation is the only one of its kind in the United States, offering educational opportunities, advanced training programs, leadership and management courses, English literacy programs and much more. To date, the Farmworker Foundation has provided educational and professional development opportunities to over 21,000 wine workers and their families. For more information, visit our website Napa Valley Farmers Foundation and follow the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation on Facebook and Instagram.