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Stockton Members Participate in Two-Day Immersive Career Workshop Focused on Lodi Wine Industry

Updated: Jul 12



In an innovative approach to experiential learning, IYT members from Stockton High Schools—including Cesar Chavez, Stagg, and Franklin—recently enjoyed a two-day excursion to Lodi, California, exploring the ins and outs of various jobs within the local wine industry. This educational journey, made possible through a partnership with San Joaquin A+, is part of a broader initiative to expose young men to diverse career paths.


Members had the chance to test out a new all-electric tractor

The trip was packed with hands-on activities, including grape picking, bottling, building bird houses, insect identification, and driving an all-electric tractor. Members gained an exclusive look into the complexities of operating a wine business, while also learning about the lifecycle of vineyards and the science of viticulture and organic farming. 


The culmination of the trip was a unique challenge posed to members: design and pitch an idea for an event to a vineyard's marketing and sales team. The standout idea was an R&B-themed evening aimed at attracting a diverse crowd of couples and singles, showcasing the students' ability to weave creativity with business acumen.


One student, Raymey, an 11th grader from Cesar Chavez High School, found the trip profoundly impactful. "Making and bottling the wine and driving the all-electric tractor was incredible. I learned a lot about the wine business and even secured a 6-week internship," he shared. Raymey's experience embodies the value engagmenent opportunities like this can bring for students and business–opening doors that blend academic learning with practical experience.


Members gained first-hand experience in the bottling process.

Reflecting on the importance of opportunities like this for the wine industry as a whole, Acquiesce Winery Owner, Rodney Tipon stated, “Exposing young minds to the vast range of career paths available in the wine industry will serve to both improve the diversity gap and bring a broader depth of candidates to the future workforce.” Continuing he said, “We believe many young men of color that have not had exposure to viticulture, wine making, and the many affiliated careers will get excited about the possibilities and tailor their education choices to prepare for becoming an important contributor in this space. Diversity brings different perspectives and that bodes well for the future.”


These hands-on experiences are critical in bridging the educational and opportunity gaps many young men of color face, providing them not only with knowledge and connections but also with the confidence to pursue careers they might not have considered before. 


Thank you to Lucas Winery, ZinStar Vinyard, Heritage Oak Winery, Acquiesce Winery, and Bokisch Vineyards!


Want to host an IYT Career Field Trip? Reach out to Executive Director, Jesus Andrade at jesus@improveyourtomorrow.org.


7.12.24 Update - Raymel, is staying cool and enjoying his internship!












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