Addressing Washington Wine Industry Needs

Addressing Washington Wine Industry Needs

Addressing Washington Wine Industry Needs


I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.


Vicky Scharlau, Executive Director of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers, talks about how the Washington State Grape and Wine Industry Education Consortium, made up of Central Washington University, WSU, South Seattle Community College, Walla Walla, Wenatchee Valley, and Yakima Valley Community College , is working to meet the needs of the state’s wine industry as a whole.


SCHARLAU: Representatives from each of these colleges and universities get together several times a year along with industry members and industry organizations and we talk about apprenticeship programs, mentorship programs, internships, and we talk about building stronger ties between these colleges and universities so that they can work together.


Scharlau shares an example of one of the Consortium’s projects.


SCHARLAU: An articulation agreement process - this allows students who start at a two year institution to be able to seamlessly transfer to a four year institution, whether it’s Central or WSU.


Another project is the gap analysis.


SCHARLAU: Figuring out where do we get the information to give to the colleges to find out what the potential of students for certain classes even are before they create the classes and go to the expense and time of doing so, because the industry has to be able to prove we’re going to have the students if the colleges and universities actually build the programs and builds the classes.


Scharlau says the Consortium is about much more than just wine and grapes.


SCHARLAU: It’s education, it’s agriculture, it’s the wave of the future. We’re going to have to have to work together with our education partners to address their needs and address ours.


That’s Washington Ag Today.


I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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