The Napa Valley wine industry is committed to the farmworkers who contribute so greatly to our success.
Napa is the only county in the U.S. where growers assess themselves in order to fund farmworker housing centers that provide lodging, meals, laundry and recreational amenities.
Because of the premium nature of the wine industry in Napa Valley, our farmworkers are compensated at a far higher rate than other ag workers throughout the U.S. and many work year-round. According to the Bureau of Labor, typical ag worker wages range from $9 to $12 per hour. In Napa County, however, according to the 2013/Q1 2014 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey from the California Employment Development Department, skilled vineyard worker wages range from $11.76 to $24.91 per hour and Napa County farm laborers have the second-highest median hourly and annual wages in the state, behind the greater Bay Area.
The majority also receive additional benefits, like bonuses, health care and access to 401k programs. For example, in 1972, Napa Valley vintners and growers helped establish the California Grower Foundation to administer fringe benefit programs for field workers. They continue this tradition today, assisting member employers to provide group health and retirement benefits to their employees and families.
Through money raised at Auction Napa Valley we have:
There’s no question that affordable housing and services for lower wage workers – not just farmworkers, but tasting room staff, restaurant servers, hotel maids, hospitality employees, teachers, nurses, police officers, Napa County employees and more – are significant needs in our community.
This problem is not unique to Napa County – dozens of other communities in the Bay Area and throughout the country are seeking solutions to this complex issue.
Here are some examples of things we are doing right now to help solve the local affordable workforce housing problem:
The local wine industry remains committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of all our workers, who provide their skills and services and are so important to the economic prosperity of our community. We are open to working with all our industry partners, relevant nonprofit organizations and local government to help overcome any existing challenges.