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Washington: Education Consortium Creates Intern Guiding Doc for Employers

The guide describes what an intern can do for potential employers in the vineyard or in winery.
August 11, 2014

To help guide the industry, a consortium of Washington state education institutions with programs in grape and wine education, have created a document for employers looking for student interns.

The guide describes what an intern can do for potential employers in the vineyard or in winery. In the winery they could assist with grape selection and monitoring, transport, crush, fermenting, storage, sampling, testing, analysis, bottling, record-keeping, contracts, sanitation, and waste water management. The guide also suggests they be involved in marketing and sales, development of special events or promotional campaigns, and automating or updating current practices. Interns in the vineyard could monitor and help control pests and diseases, fertilize, irrigate, manage canopy, prune, and harvest. They can also shadow a vineyard manager or assist with record keeping, contracts, budgeting and establishing production and sales goals.

The “Washington Grape and Wine Industry Employer Guide to Internships” provides insight on what an internship is and how an employer can know when the company is ready for an internship program, goals for the employer and intern, and how to monitor and evaluate the intern for the best outcome. Benefits for the employer are also described.

The guide discusses creating an intern job description and pay since the U.S. Department of Labor issued regulations governing unpaid internships, making it clear that interns cannot be used like regular workers without paying them at least minimum wage. This document outlines when an employer is required pay an intern or when the internship can go unpaid.

The guide was distributed to state educational institutions that provide wine or grape related programs.

To find a copy of the document visit and click Education and Internships.

The Education Consortium, made up of state education institutions, exists to sustain and continually improve state-wide higher education programs relevant to the Washington grape and wine industry—including degree and certificate programs, professional development, and continuing education—as well as ensure relevancy in preparing students to meet the changing needs of the industry. The group includes Washington State University, Yakima Valley Community College, Walla Walla Community College, Central Washington University, Wenatchee Valley College, and South Seattle College along with the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers and the Washington State Wine Commission.

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