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Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Partner with UCCE to Support Equitable Working Conditions for Farmworkers

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Napa, CA (February 2, 2022) – The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) and Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) are partnering with the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) on a farmworker-focused, Job Satisfaction Survey.  The outcome of the survey will be used to improve the well-being of farmworkers by promoting equitable working conditions.

Photo by Suzanne Becker Bronk

“The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation was established to support Napa County vineyard workers through education and professional development,” said Jennifer Putnam, CEO of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, “so when the UCCE team approached us to support the survey, it was an immediate and natural decision.”

Throughout Napa, grape growers and vineyard managers are committed to developing highly skilled vineyard teams. Many growers are looking to enhance their already competitive wages with other valuable benefits, such as paid time for English classes and leadership training. The results generated from the UCCE Job Satisfaction Survey will help employers identify which benefits matter most to their teams.

“The inspiration [for the Job Satisfaction Survey] came from an interest in two areas. One was how to address the labor issues growers currently face, and the second was the numerous challenges farmworkers face that contribute to below average life outcomes as a population,” said Malcolm Hobbs, Staff Research Associate at UCCE, “We wanted to do a project that would be mutually beneficial to both parties. Measuring farmworker job satisfaction can help employers identify problems in their work environments so that they can be addressed and show them what they are doing well. There is a lot of research showing that improving job satisfaction in a directed manner can have many benefits for a company in terms of reducing turnover and absenteeism, lowering management costs, and boosting productivity. At the same time, improving job satisfaction can have a huge benefit for employee well-being in terms of health, life satisfaction, and financial security.”

The survey provides an employee assessment of their work environment, which can be used by managers to target strategies for elevating workplace experience. To ensure employees are comfortable responding, the survey is presented in Spanish by UCCE and the FWF as a neutral third party; all submissions are anonymous. Participating employers will receive results for their company, as well as aggregate results for all participating companies. In addition, educational resources to support recommendations will be created by the partners.

Hobbs emphasized, “It was also important to us that we avoid a completely top-down approach, where we or the employer decide what is best for the farmworker, and make sure workers are included in the process. Doing job satisfaction surveys allows the farmworkers to be consulted and give their view on what they want and need which they understand best. Done correctly, such surveys can help build a better dialogue and trust between workers and employers.”

For grape growers and vineyard managers interested in in the UCCE Job Satisfaction Survey, please visit the website to learn more and access the survey in English and Spanish.

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’s vineyard workers through education and professional development. The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation is the only one of its kind in the United States, providing educational opportunities, advanced training programs, leadership and management classes, English literacy programs, and much more. To date, the Farmworker Foundation has offered education and professional development opportunities to more than 21,000 vineyard workers and their families. For more information, visit our website Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation and follow the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation on Facebook and Instagram.

About the 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 45 years.  Its mission is to preserve and promote Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards. NVG represents 685 Napa County grape growers and associated businesses.  For more information, visit our website Napa Valley Grapegrowers and follow the Napa Valley Grapegrowers on Facebook and Instagram.

About the University of California Cooperative Extension

The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is part of the national Land Grant system, where selected public institutions of higher learning are charged with providing practical education to the public through various outreach efforts. Collaboration with Napa County and the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office is one of the outreach efforts. For more information visit the UCCE website.

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