Employers must adjust to a changing Valley landscape, including an increasing reliance on social innovation.
That's the message E & J Gallo Winery Vice President of Marketing Stephanie Gallo delivered to about 100 guests at the second annual Women's Leadership Forum at California State University, Stanislaus on Tuesday.
Where, in the past, men made up the majority of college graduates, women now earn more degrees. And those women are looking for family-friendly work environments, because they aren't willing to give up families just to succeed in business.
The Gallo Winery looks to accommodate women with flexible work schedules, and programs to help new workers become acclimated in the company, Gallo said.
"We want women to come and work for [E & J Gallo Winery]," Gallo said.
The rise of women workers isn't the only change Gallo sees coming. The Winery already employs 5,120 employees, more than 4,100 in Central Valley alone, but looks to double its size in the next 10 years.
"The reality is, we have to adjust for what's coming," Gallo said.
To achieve that growth, Gallo recruits from more than 30 of the top 50 business schools, as local job seekers are often unqualified for the specialized positions.
But Gallo is looking to change that too, sponsoring local high schoolers to receive an education and work for Gallo, and offering support to a low-income elementary school near the Winery's Modesto headquarters. Internal leadership forums and mentoring programs look to better existing employees - and give them a reason to stay in the economically-depressed Central Valley.
By bringing qualified people to the Valley, and improving the lives of Valley natives, the E & J Gallo Winery looks to improve the Valley as a whole, Gallo said. It's part of the Winery's commitment to the Central Valley, she said, which has made E & J Gallo Winery into the largest private winery in the world today.
"The Central Valley has been good to us," Gallo said. "It is our community."
Gallo encouraged the audience, many of whom were CSU Stanislaus business students, to receive the best education possible, to share their knowledge, and to work to shape the Central Valley into a better place.
"To me, it looks like there is a tremendous amount of opportunity," Gallo said.