Napa, CA (June 18, 2014) – Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ Farmworker Foundation celebrates its second year of graduates from its groundbreaking English literacy program. Sixty-five farmworkers graduated from the four-month course designed specifically for Napa County farmworkers to assist them with their English literacy and communication skills in the workplace.
According to student Manuel Ochoa, Silverado Farming Company, “The English classes were a great benefit and the opportunity to learn English was good both personally and for my job. I see a better future for myself being able to communicate in English and learned a lot throughout the four month course. I am looking forward to continuing on to the more advanced classes next year.”
The free program, hosted by the Farmworker Foundation, was taught at Napa Valley College, Upper Valley Campus and Napa Valley Adult Education by their certified. Half of employers compensated their employees while they were taking the class and nearly three quarters of employers plan to recognize the employees who completed the course through promotions, increase in wages, bonuses, company-wide recognition, gift certificates and more. Members of the Farmworker Foundation Committee and employers of the participants honored the graduates at the late May ceremonies held at the Upper Valley Campus and Napa Valley Adult Education.
“I would like to express my appreciation to the Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ Farmworker Foundation for its continued efforts in providing professional advancement training to our vineyard workers, “says Steve Moulds, Moulds Family Vineyard. “I was proud to attend the graduation of our employee, Roberto Juarez, from his second semester of English as a Second Language training. His language skills have improved dramatically, and have in part, helped him progress in his responsibilities on our ranch. Many important members of our team are not as fluent as we might like. Roberto’s efforts have underscored his leadership potential.”
The Program began in 2013 as a three-month segment, offering free beginning and intermediate classes two nights a week only in Napa. Thirty students graduated in the 2013 class funded by the NVG Farmworker Foundation. Due to the popularity and increased demand, the NVG Farmworker Foundation enhanced the 2014 program by expanding the course by four weeks, adding three classes in St. Helena, and including a low-beginning/literacy class which doubled the participation of this sold-out program.
All five courses were held two nights a week in St. Helena and Napa and were free for Napa County vineyard workers through the NVG Farmworker Foundation. Attendees were tested before the class began and at the completion of the course. Every student showed an increase in confidence and fluency in reading and communicating. All 2014 graduates plan to attend a two-week intensive class in December and begin the next four-month course in January 2015.
About Napa Valley Grapegrowers
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers is a non-profit trade organization that has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley’s reputation as a world-class viticultural region for over 39 years. NVG represents over 680 Napa County grape growers and associated businesses. For more information, visit www.napagrowers.org. Follow Napa Valley Grapegrowers on Facebook and Twitter.