Wenatchee, WA – On July 7, Stemilt Growers hosted a group of Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) recipients along with Wenatchee Valley College (WVC) students to learn more about the company and career paths in high-tech agriculture.The tour of Stemilt was part of a professional development platform developed by WSOS to connect students with industry professionals, provide networking opportunities and a better understand career pathways in their fields of interest. GWATA extended this opportunity to WVC students taking related coursework.During the visit, students learned about Stemilt’s daily operations through a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of its production lines and facilities. Zach Williams, Stemilt Director of Human resources, led the event and brought in department heads from Accounting, IT, Operations, Quality Control, and Sales. Students had an opportunity to learn about each department and what skillsets are required as well as the wide-range of positions within the organization. The event’s ultimate goal was to give students a better understanding of not just the company itself, but also the opportunities in the agriculture industry in North Central Washington.“After taking the tour at the Stemilt Growers, I was fascinated to see how technology assists employees in sorting the cherries, which tremendously increases the efficiency of the process,” said one student on the tour. I learned that all staff at different departments work together as a family to accomplish the mission of delivering high quality products to their valued customers. After staying for a few hours at the company, I felt the friendly culture of this organization which was radiating from every employee that I saw and talked to.”The Industry Exploration tour was organized by GWATA, The Apple STEM Network, and WSOS. “GWATAs mission is to bring people and technology resources together to create a thriving community” said Jenny Napier, executive director for GWATA. “We have a rich offering of local Technology and STEM jobs in NCW. Organizing this tour was a natural fit for our organization because highlighting career opportunities and our business members is one of the ways we serve our community.”This was the first WSOS Industry Exploration held outside of the Seattle-Metro area. With students hailing from every county in Washington, WSOS aims to continue to work collaboratively with industry leaders in STEM and health care fields across the State to highlight companies and careers and professional opportunities for Scholars. All three organizations would like to thank the entire Stemilt Team for their time and support of this event.About the Washington State Opportunity ScholarshipThe Washington State Opportunity Scholarship is a public-private partnership between Washington State and private business, including founding partners Microsoft and Boeing, helping to grow the pool of skilled, homegrown talent prepared for the jobs of our innovation economy. In the 2015-16 academic year, WSOS supported over 2,300 students attending 67 colleges across Washington. To learn more, visit waopportunityscholarship.org.About GWATAGWATA was founded in 2000 to promote a vibrant technology based economy benefiting the citizens and communities of North Central Washington. GWATA’s mission is to support technology, entrepreneurship, and STEM education. To learn more about GWATA, visit www.gwata.org or call 509.661.9000.

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