Founded in 1981 by Proprietor Jess Jackson, Kendall-Jackson remains
a family-owned winery. Although Kendall-Jackson wines are exported
to more than 30 countries around the world, the ideas that began the
winery remain front and center in its day-to-day operations. That
focus is on quality and value, with an eye on innovation in both production
Jack Ryno, general manager of Kendall-Jackson’s Lakeport Winery
and Vinwood Cellars, learned about SRJC’s Workforce Training
- Employment Training Panel (ETP) program from his human resources
To meet the increased labor demands during the wineries’ harvest
and crush season, Ryno wanted to cross train employees and instill
a high-level of teamwork.
Long-time employees, who cherished their status as specialist, were
skeptical. Ryno knew his support and that of other top management
was essential to making the program work.
The Workforce Training staff, working with Jack Ryno, developed a
customized 40-hour training program in Teambuilding. Because of the
personnel diversity, the Teambuilding instruction was developed in
both Spanish and English, where bi-cultural and bi-lingual issues
were addressed. Jack enrolled in the training program, which served
as a model for the teamwork approach he wanted to implement. The program
was taught at both the Lakeport Winery and Vinwood Cellars locations.
At the conclusion of the training the wineries were gearing up for
harvest and crush. Ryno said that there was a marked improvement in
communication and response between departments and functions. Concentrating
on team skills paid off. Kendall-Jackson processed an extra large
harvest that year with the improved professional and personal interaction
among the employees.
“ETP would have been much more difficult if we’d done
this on our own. The Workforce Training office got us through the
bureaucratic side of the program,” said Jack Ryno, “and
we were able to focus on creating the best program for our employees.”
“The ETP program paid for 50-70% of Kendall-Jackson’s
training costs,” Ryno said.
“The commitments are big, but the benefits are bigger.”