Yakima Valley College Foundation selects Miguel Castro for the Classified Employee of the Year Award

The Yakima Valley College Foundation is excited to announce the selection of Grounds Specialist II Miguel Castro as the 2021 recipient of the Darlene Koch Classified Employee of the Year Award. Former YVC Vice President of Administration and YVC Foundation Executive Director Darlene Koch established the award to honor the hard work and dedication of classified staff. The YVC Foundation Board of Directors makes the selection from nominations submitted by faculty, staff, and administrators.

Castro was born in Michoacán, Mexico and migrated to the United States at the age of 15 in pursuit of a better life.

Castro, joined by his brothers and some friends, first arrived in California before deciding to move to the Yakima Valley due to the opportunities available in the agriculture industry.

“There was lots of work available on the farms. I wanted a better life and there was work available every day for people who wanted to work hard for it. All I had to do was look for it,” stated Castro.

Working with Washington Fruit, Castro moved his way up from laborer to foreman during a 30-year career. After suffering a heart attack in 2016, he decided to resign and pursue other opportunities that would decrease his stress-level. He worked for a short time with his brother’s landscaping business before being hired as a Grounds Specialist II by Yakima Valley College.

“All year long he maintains the campus grounds. That includes everything from mowing, pruning, weed control, keeping the sidewalks clear of debris and in the winter keeping the snow and ice off the sidewalks and door entrances,” stated Assistant Director of Facility Operations Raoul Perez. “The grounds have never looked so good.”

Castro takes pride in his work and keeping campus clean and beautiful for the public.

“The most rewarding aspect of working here is keeping campus clean and green. As a public area we get people here all day long,” he continued.

The recipient of the Darlene Koch Classified Employee of the Year Award is presented a $1,000 unrestricted monetary award. It is open to any full-time classified staff member at Yakima Valley College. For more information contact Stacey Kautz at skautz@yvcc.edu or 509.574.4645.

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 / dwunderlich@yvcc.edu
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 / smenard@yvcc.edu